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Multiculturalism, immigration and citizenship : a view of social relations in Canada Low, Cynthia 2004

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Multiculturalism, Immigration and Citizenship: A View of Social Relations in Canada by Cynthia Low B.Sc , Simon Fraser University, 1990 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL F U L F I L M E N T OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE D E G R E E OF MASTERS OF ARTS / . In THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Department of Educational Studies) We accept "this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A February 2004 © Cynthia Low, 2004 Library Authorization In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Name of Author (please print) Date (dd/mm/yyyy) Title of Thesis: ^Mar/A/rzrf'r/r? /ffi/yjrj<r*j t7£^#s/, Degree: /if4 Year: Department of Grtp^c&y^eo^asf S-fz/<z//^j? The University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC Canada Abstract National multicultural and multiracial pluralism is a reality of modernity. In Canada multiculturalism has been an official policy since 1971. As a settler society the concepts, values and principles entrenched in multiculturalism, citizenship and immigration reflect a history of racialization. Uncritical views of nation building and citizenship assume that all Canadians have equal opportunity to participate and contribute to the social, economic, cultural and political life of the country. Given the current milieu of globalization, transnationalism and internationalism in an era of interconnectivity, market economies and of focus on economic capital, there is a challenge for Canada to consign a sense of place and equal participation to all its citizens. This is a conceptual thesis that looks at how government policy and dominant hegemony in Canada mediate relationships and identities within and among immigrant communities and other marginalized communities be they bound by geography, economics race, gender, religion or sexuality. Personal-narratives from my own experience as an immigrant are used to highlight how social relations are constituted, synthesized, merged, enacted, intersected, transpired and inspired. The objective is to interrogate the ubiquity of racially esssentialized and exclusionary practices that continue to inform and guide our development as a settler society, no matter how rigorously we may deny or how we frame the practice of racialization. The key issues to be examined are, first, the development of group and individual identity in its relational, political, historical and cultural contexts. The second issue is the development of social relations between marginalized communities as they are affected by government policies in areas of immigration, multiculturalism and citizenship. And finally the thesis examines the practice of Adult Education as contributing to social relations between communities. ii Identity and identity politics circumscribing the Canadian psyche provides a powerful location for adult learning in general but particularly in situations serving immigrant and newcomers. This thesis develops a lens that contributes to a critical approach to the provision of Adult Education in settlement services, health education, work place training, language acquisition and other services that shape social relations between communities. These programs should incorporate critical theories to make transparent the 'real' history of Canada and students place in the nation. i iii Multiculturalism, Immigration and Citizenship: A View of Social Relations in Canada TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ii CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1 Background 1 Purpose 4 Research Questions 5 Structure of Thesis ; 5 CHAPTER TWO: THE ONE LOOKING BACKWARDS 8 Malaysia, Cplonialization and I 12 Identity Formation 14 Critical Race Theory 16 Racial Ordering 18 Colonialization and Globalization 21 The Malaysia - Canada Connection 22 CHAPTER THREE: WHERE TO 26 Boarding School or Vancouver School Board? 29 Canada: A Quick Historical Perspective 30 Immigration and the Moasic 32 Nation Building and Citizenship 37 Duties of the Citizen 38 Racial Hierarchy in Canada 40 CHAPTER FOUR - CUT TO FIT, DIY (Do It Yourself) 44 Negotiating,Identities 47 Essentialized Identities 50 Imagined Relations '. 54 Assimilation and Acculturation 55 CHAPTER FIVE: RUPTURE 59 Intercultural Dynamics 63 Multiculturalism: Not quite White or Right 66 iv Dilemma of Democracies 70 Making Same-Same 71 Representation 72 Cultural Containment 73 CHAPTER SIX: REFRAMLNG THE CONTEXT 76 Starting Young , 78 The View From Here 81 'Fusion and Confusion 83 In Memorial 84 Knowing and Being Known 86 Mythologies of Canadian Multiculturalism 87 Engaged Citizenship 89 CHAPTER SEVEN: REFLECTIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS FOR ADULT EDUCATION . 91 Disruptions land Plans for the Future 92 Reflexive Multiculturalism 93 My Classroom, My World View 96 Adult Educators 101 Conclusion 102 BIBLIOGRAPHY 106 v CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION As Canadians we situate ourselves within an idyllic pastoral landscape with open spaces, pioneer independence and self-sufficiency whereby discrete communities co-habit in our ideological mosaic. Statistics Canada 2001 indicates that Canada is becoming a more culturally and ethnically divefse country, with the major source of immigrants being from Asia, Africa, Latin America and their diasporas. This signals a shift from previous pre 1970 migration trends with immigrants originating mostly from European diasporas. In addition, there are shifts towards the acceptance of more highly educated professional and skilled immigrants (Boyd & Vickers, 2000). Circumscribing the Canadian context are changing patterns of migration globally such as temporary migration, family reunification, and changes in receiving and sending countries and transnationalism. Emerging issues such as the accommodation of heterogeneous populations, multiculturalism, changing concepts of nation states and citizenship are just some of the new challenges in the global arena. Although migration for economic reasons has been the primary incentive for people crossing national borders to work and live, increasingly more families and individuals are creating multiple settlement sites in different locations where they live and work (Timur, 2000). There is a need to reconsider the legacy of old frameworks and strategies for nation building and acquire new competencies as well as new perspectives on modernity to understand the changing context for all Canadians. The objective of this paper is to examine the social relations among and between developed and emerging communities in Canada. Background ' Canadian immigration policy has always contained political, economic and labour imperatives that are founded on visions of Nationhood and protection of the Dominion (Kelly & Trebilcock, 1998). Culture, race and identity have been salient aspects of our national 1 psyche since European domination, most importantly in the form of Anglophone and Francophone discourse and threats of American annexation. In 1964 the government of Prime Minister Lester Pearson appointed the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism to address growing unrest between French and English Canadians, particularly in Quebec. The hundred recommendations that emerged from the Commission were the foundation of the 1969 Official Languages Act. This act along with the amended Citizenship Act and the Canadian Multiculturalism Act was the governments' three pronged approach to creating a unified country. (Multiculturalism.. .being Canadian, 1987) Every year Canada's official policy of Multiculturalism, adopted in 1971, becomes more relevant within our national borders and in an increasingly globalized world. Despite Pierre Trudeau's original vision of Multiculturalism as a instrument and ideology for tolerance and social justice, the actual operationalization of the policy reveals neo-European perspectives which are embedded in the Canadian meaning of culture and our context for multiculturalism. In actuality these types of policies may be interpreted as a means to contain and depoliticize social issues such race, class, gender, poverty and violence (Pearson, 2001). Central to this discourse is the dominance of a Eurocentric view of Canadian culture, and the notion of 'other' ethnic particularities of diverse communities especially for those who cannot assimilate into whiteness. The adopted ideology of multiculturalism emphasizes cultural understanding and tolerance based on a position of power which does not reflect the complexity of race, class, gender, sexuality and other locations of identity. The hegemony of government and society reconfirms the existing racial positioning of power by setting the limits of tolerance and determining the terms of culture, practice of national inclusion, acceptable values of achievements and characteristics (Hage, 2000). Individuals and communities from marginalized diasporas are expected to build positive relations with each 2 other and their white skinned Canadian counterparts where the currency, language and location for discourse exist within an 'us' and 'other' context defined by the dominant culture. Although it is commonly accepted that diversity, multiculturalism and anti-racism are positive values for Canadians to embody, there has been insufficient dialogue around the impact of our Multicultural, Immigration and Nation building agenda on the intercultural relationships between and among marginalized communities. These relationships are frequently mediated by 'Canadianism', anti-racism, and multicultural theories that maintain a dualistic positioning of 'white' and 'other' in interrogating these social and political interconnections. , Dominant culture is in the position to construct the particularities of the different communities for presentation to its citizenry, through government information, mass media, education and other systems. These representations are then accepted and reinterpreted by communities, creating a matrix for interethnic/community interaction based on a particular orientation. Other consequences such as racial hierarchies and competition for resources between various groups through established fields of power consolidate the position of the state. As well, historical and social conditions have established racial, class and gender ordering that impact on social relations. In some cases diffusion and/or elimination of groups that do not succeed in articulating their position in Canadian society may occur. For example the consolidation of hundreds of aboriginal tribes with distinct cultures and languages are commonly referred to as First Nations. The coalescing and coalition of minority groups may exert-pressure on the state; groups learn from each other strategies to gain validity within the dominant hegemony. Some communities have been able to contest dominant ideology and 3 reconstruct their histories, inserting alternative readings, such as the Japanese Canadian redress movement. Purpose In my thesis I explore how racialization, immigration, acculturation and multiculturalism in Canada mediate relationships and identities between, within, and among immigrant communities and other marginalized communities, be they communities bound by geography, economics, race, gender, religion or sexuality. Woven into the Canadian context is the quest for a national identity, a history of race-based laws, an ideal of liberal democratic participation, immigration practices to meet industry needs, and legislation in the subjugation of First Nations communities. Newcomers also bring with them their expectations and perceptions, official and unofficial, of Canadian society as well as their embedded values from home countries that are specific to their particularities such as gender, class, race and religion. These values and beliefs are also circumscribed by world history and individual experiences. Add to this complex set of relations the role of Immigration policy and federal bureaucrats operating as gatekeepers and social architects within the department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). All of these elements contribute to a larger discourse around national identity and nation building in modernity. I challenge the diversity often emphasized in the discourse about multicultural Canada and pose the notion that diversity, in some respects, may be overstated, considering that CIC bureaucrats essentially select who may be eligible to be a Canadian. Regardless of the class of application, independent, family or refugee, they play a pivotal role in the formation of communities in Canada. Their mandate is driven by concepts of Canadian nationhood and citizenship that are historically grounded in European colonialism; this has an impact on who has access to 4 the process, how immigrant applications are processed, how newcomers are socialized and how our communities are imagined within the nation. Research Questions These are some of the questions I consider in my thesis: 1. How does the state shape the way people think of themselves and their location? 2. How do people transform and appropriate official representations of nation, community and identity? 3. How do the ways in which local cultures are configured, constructed and portrayed affect individual and group intercultural dynamics? Structure of Thesis Personal narratives from my own experience as an immigrant are used to examine the process by which location and belonging evolves as part of my participation as a Canadian citizen and adult educator. This format follows a chronology from pre immigration to the development of strategies, challenges and opportunities for negotiating the social and legal practices in Canadian white settler society. Chapter two deals with racial and identity formation from a postcolonial perspective. In this chapter I introduce Constructionist i perspectives on identity formation and discuss issues of racial hierarchies within the context of colonialism. The continuum of systemic capitalist hegemony through modern globalization, imperialism and capitalism is the salient idea contextualizing personal experience in this chapter. In;chapter three I address allegories of Canadian society, our history, image and values by following the development of the Dominion. These hegemonic histories, images and values are carefully maintained through education, mass media, government policy and laws, particularly in nation building and the creation of a Canadian identity. Included in this chapter is a discussion on racialization, ethnicity, hybridity, identity 5 and the invention of National cultures . Chapter four addresses the ways in which individuals and groups accept, negotiate, transform and undergo synthesis to 'fit' into social and political matrices existing in our national identities, at times creating new and hybrid forms of belonging. Through my own experience I explore how communities emerge and interrelate in order to examine the infinite ways we interpret and interface within our social condition. There are ruptures and normative practices, intended, unintended and creative modalities to / participate and exist. I interrogate the impact of government policy and racialization as it relates to my own immigrant encounters. In Chapter five I examine the multiplicity of identities and the potential for conflicts in loyalties and place. These are complex relationships that are all too often racialized, essentialized, and contained, thus limiting understanding and authentic responses to political, social, and cultural forces in our globalized milieu. The issues and analysis presented in these preceding chapters form the foundation to the chapter six and seven where I discuss why it is so crucial to rethink the antecedents of multiculturalism, immigration and nation building, particularly within the context of adult education. I will look at why it is important to examine the social relations between and among marginalized communities and problematize how Adult Education is conducted and implicated. Practices such as citizenship education, work place training, settlement programs, language acquisition and literacy are sites for critical analysis of such issues as democracy, nationalism and civil society. It is crucial to consider the role of adult education practioners in mediating intercultural relations between marginalized individuals and communities. I introduce the notion that identity formation and negotiation, which are universal and life long experiences, are potential sites for transformative learning opportunities. In particular I consider Rattansi's concept of 'Reflexive Multiculturalism' as an educational framework to 6 deconstruct conditions of existence. This reflexive strategy makes apparent the power structures that shape our lives and the personal agency that is interwoven into the complex matrices (Rattansi, 1999). Ihope that this thesis provides a perspective to contextualize diverse positions, challenge existing hegemonies, and consider opportunities for an alternative approach. 7 CHAPTER TWO - THE ONE LOOKING BACKWARDS Others may see a narrow black top with the pulsing yellow beat shimmering in. the tropical sun, I saw and felt the beating of hooves, rhythm of motion, sounds of breathing and the feel of the wind. At 5 years old and the youngest offour I got to sit up front with my parents on our journeys between the coasts of West Malaysia, between modernization and traditional, between family and work, between urban and rural, between Chinese and Malay. We were travelling in my mum's baby blue Singer automobile with the highly polished walnut dash. Daddy to my right and mummy to my left, their comforting tones moving in waves behind my head. My hands were clutched on the fine dash, chin resting between them and eyes fixed on the road. I would daydream of riding on a great big horse among a herd. In those days I had desires of physical transformation, everything would be fine then, I would be ok. Semua-nya pun • * boleh. (Bahasa Malaysia - Everything is possible) The Federation of Malaya was established on September 1, 1957, Cynthia Low Poh Leng was born some 5 years later under less pompous circumstances. She was born in a small mining town simply named, Bukit Besi, Iron Mountain, inhabited by native Malays for generations and 'owned' by Australian and British corporate interest. "The division of Malaya on a communal basis - between the Malays on one hand, and the people of Chinese and Indian origin on the other - has its roots in British colonialization of Malaya in the third quarter of the 19th Century. Not to see this as the centre-piece of colonial rule is at least part of the obfuscation of the phenomenon by pluralist and other social scientists. " (Yin, 1983, p. 20) 8 / don't really know what obfuscation means but that's me. Ifeel .obfuscated. Until age 9, Bukit Besi on the East Coast of peninsular Malaysia, was my world. I was schooled through Australian/British readers and Australian/British teachers whose role was to prepare the children of Australian/British engineers to succeed in the Australian/British education system when they returned to Australia/Britain. Mummy and Daddy did not really see the importance of toys or music in the intellectual development of their progeny, but rather they tried to cultivated, a love of reading in their children through those fabulous LadyBug books. Stories of Puss in Boots, The Princess and the Pea, Jack and the Bean Stock and other such loved British children's stories. As I grew older my siblings and I would alternately read stories of English schoolgirls in English Boarding school by Dame Enid Blyton, or BEANO, DANDY and BREEZER, popular English comics. Our box had a window and the view is of Britannica and its territories. Imbalance between the races! What did I care I was only a kid interested in playing with my dog and escaping punishment from my parents. In my Cocooned world of miners and their children most of my friends were Australian or English or American, until the mine was no longer economically feasible. In short the Aussies, Brits and Yanks pulled out, closing their schools, firing the labourers and leaving the ravages of pit mining. At its most productive it was one of the biggest iron ore mines in South East Asia. When I returned decades later the pit had been flooded and converted in to a lake surrounded by a golf course. All around the lake were signs warning against swimming or fishing in the waters. So it goes that when the mining town closed down the companies did nothing to rehabilitate the area, 9 equipment that was worth anything was removed, those that were too costly to break down and relocated or obsolete were just left to rust and decay. The operations were merely abandoned. There is still a kampung (Bahasa Malaysia - village) that has always existed beside the mining town. It was too expensive for the government to clean up the mining pit so they flooded it creating a massive toxic lake, in an attempt to develop the area as a tourism destination. This is my birth place, former playground, well spring for my fertile imagination where my mother punished me by making me sit in a corner under a painting of a partially naked Malay woman wearing only a sarong. My father who was sporty went fishing and hunting regularly and encouraged or perhaps forced my brother, the oldest and only scion of the family to go with him. He never wanted to go but he did not want to disappoint or anger my father. I craved to accompany them and I wanted to be apart of the adventure but was not allowed because I was too young but mostly because I was a girl. I developed an awareness that my station as a girl was to stay within the confines of our home compound, a 6 foot silver gilded chain link enclosure. After the mining town closed, my sister and I commuted 45 kms away to a local school where the language of instruction was Malay. I would sit at the back of the class waiting and dreaming. Waiting for recess and waiting for lunch when I could eat nasi lemak from the cafeteria and stinky fish keropok from street side vendors. Dreaming and planning what I would do when I got back home to my iron mountain. This lasted for a few months until my parents decided that my mother should move with* us to the capital city KL where my oldest brother and sister were already located for their studies, while my father stayed with the 10 company to manage the closure of the mine. In the urban landscape of Kuala Lumpur populated primarily by Chinese, the dreams of waking to find myself transformed into a blond, light eyed boy stopped. I spent most my time denying my Chineseness, after all I did not speak Chinese but English, I wrote English not Chinese, I read English not Chinese, and Chinese did not have cool boarding schools or interesting characters like Dennis the Menace or Beano. The one room school house in Bukit Besi during parents day. Circa 1963. 11 Malaysia, Colonialization and I I was born into a time of great transition and instability for Malaysia. The post independence years from 1957 to 1970 were a period of flux in nation building, reorientation of power and transformation of national forms of governance and ideologies. There was a reactionary move from English as the primary language of education to Malay, the national language. Islam was entrenched as the national religion. Services and legislation institutionalized Malay privileges and special rights. National, cultural and ethnic sovereignty were the prevailing issues. The government's primary objective was to restructure Malaysian society to correct the economic political and social imbalances between the races (Yin, 1983). This imbalance was a long established structure developed and further encouraged by colonial powers to maximize capital interests; they had been in Malay since the 1780's. The Malays were suspicious of colonial powers and did not cooperate with plans for colonial exploitation, they were considered i^ndependable, lazy and stupid, " was universally believed that the Malay, despite his charm, was indolent and shiftless and resistant to change and progress" (Roff, 1974, p.25). Indians and Chinese, who were familiar to the British colonials, were brought into the country as indentured labourers and merchants to operate their enterprises of trade and resource extraction. Over time some of these individuals, their families and networks, accumulated wealth and power more often than not because of allegiances to their colonial bosses. My great great grandfathers had left the Amoy district of Guangdong in China to come to Malaysia to work as tin. miners in the late 1800's. Up until the mid 1950's middle class families like my family had established forms of economic and social relations that revolved around Euro-American presence. During and after independence the political and social terrain shifted and underwent transformation that was not always peaceful or without incidents. Chinese participation in 12 the future of the nation state became increasingly marginalized and restrictive. The forces and tendencies towards racialization during British colonial rule were further fortified by the structure and agency of governance. (Yin, 1983). My maternal grandparents. In this picture Ah Mah was wearing the traditional garments for the Malay woman as was the custom of Straits born Chinese. Straits born Chinese are migrants who were born in Malaysia and adopted Malay cultural and linguistic traditions in addition to maintaining Chinese values. For their time they were considered very modern, they married for love. Ah Kong was an English educated teacher and principal who admired European literature. 13 Identity Formation r Every human identity is constructed, historical; every one has its share of false presumptions, of the errors and inaccuracies that courtesy calls "myth", religion "heresy," and science "magic." Invented histories, invented biologies, invented cultural affinities come with every identity; each is a kind of role that has to be scripted, structured by conventions of narrative to which the world never quite manages to conform (Appiah, 1995, p. 105). Racialization produces arbitrary boundaries and tensions that manifest external and internal to the self. From1 a Constructionist perspective, identity formation, particularly as it relates to race and ethnicity, is based on the interaction of circumstance and groups. Within this framework, identities change as the context changes and people are in constant negotiation in creating and shaping their own identities. These identities are hot perceived as rooted in nature but consequences of specific situations located in history, events, relationships and processes. People have an active role in accepting, resisting, choosing, inventing, defining, rejecting, defending, promoting, renaming and reorganizing their identities (Cornell & Hartmann, 1997). Ethnic identity is built around issues such as self-inscription, belonging, self-evaluation (negative and positive), group affiliation and preferences, group interest and knowledge and involvement associated with the group. Identity is an evolving continuous process that is complex, malleable and interdependent on relational, • i .: political and cultural context (Yeh & Hwang, 2000). ! 14 My identity as a child in the developmental phase was influenced by where my father worked, whom he worked for and the context in which I grew up - in post colonial Malaysia. There was recognition that true power lay in whiteness and maleness, the power gave one the ability to do anything. It was inevitable that my orientation would be towards all things English; I was after all a product of a particular milieu. I was more familiar with English bobbies and Devonshire cream than with the families that lived in the village one kilometer up the hill from my house. Women and men from the village came to our house every day to cook and clean for us or to work in the mine as labourers. When I went to visit my relatives in the city, it was the Indian driver who chauffeured us around to country clubs and shopping centres. Despite my affinity with knights and maidens, Sussex and green meadows, I could not belong in that world - only in dreams and in the imaginary could I belong there. My interaction with Malays, Indians and other Chinese was one of their subordination; outside of my family networks, they were either servants, labourers or storekeepers. The hierarchy of races present in the society and the motivation to move up the social and political ladder determined the process of association and dissociation I experienced. Whiteness and lightness was desirable even relative to Chinese. And yet Western educated Chinese like'my father who received his Engineering degree in New Zealand did not have the same position and role as white men with similar education. His role was that of middle manager, a go between for the European engineers, managers and owners and the local white collar workers and labourers. Native people's were characterized as the noble savage like the painting of the semi nude Malay woman prominently displayed in our house. The fact that local schools were populated by Malays made them inferior. From dreams of whiteness to preoccupation with my 15 rejection of my Chineseness I experienced the inherent contradictions within categories of race and ethnicity. If race and ethnicity are determined by affiliation, association and socialization then I should be English or Australian. Of course in those days it never even occurred to me to question the legitimacy of Australian as a race, ethnicity or nationality - just whiteness. Race is also ascribed to us based on biology and family. As a child I was constantly exposed to the limitations of race and racialization. I was reminded of my race when these boundaries interfaced with values and ethos privileging meritocracy and achievements. In my story it did not matter that I had the education, the language, the clothing and the cultural knowledge of Westerners, I would never be considered "of the West". Like me, my father, despite his accruements - Western education, religious conversion to Catholicism, social competence and attire - would never be allowed to be the engineer he was trained to be. He was always the Chinaman. ; Critical Race Theory Critical Race Theory (CRT) demands that we consider racism not as a deviant characteristic of our society and culture but one that is inherent and systematic in contextualizing our daily experience. Racialization and racism are ingrained in history, social rules, laws and education to promote specific self-interest (Razack, 2002). According to CRT, race is a foundation to examine the intersections of class, gender and other positions of oppression that perpetuates dominant entitlement and authority of white male society (Aylward, 1999). Malaysia as a nation state that emerged from colonialization and Canada as a settler society have in tandem maintained a system of unequal social and legal relations based on European domination. Legal practices have been enacted to socially, linguistically, spacially and economically maintain a racial hierarchy that separates people (Razack, 2002). 16 This can be see throughout Canadian history in the theft and ongoing resolution of Aboriginal lands, immigration head tax for Chinese, internment of Japanese Canadians and Italian Canadians, imprisonment of Mennonite Canadians, displacement of Afro Canadians from Africkville and countless other dubious judicious acts. Within this historiographic framework the law, nationalism, governance and social relations reaffirm and recreate racial and ethnic inequalities. Canada as a modern nation state has institutions, policies, conditions and rules that conduct the business of governance. These institutions emerge from a specific historical context for distinct objectives that may work at cross-purposes. Racialization is an institutional legacy that organizes and enforces daily social relations (Omi & Winant, 1994). In this thesis I will be using critical race theory as the framework to locate racialization as one of the key forms of subordination, to address the systemic denial of historical racism, to reject the ideology of'colour-blind' and 'race neutral' solutions, to contextualize and ' centralize the experiences of marginalized peoples and to analyse the interlinking of gender, race, class and sexual orienation in social relations that develop and exist in a racialized ' context. Official government'policy of Multiculturalism, Heritage, Immigration operate to reinforce dominant ambitions not without some areas of contradictions and cross purposes. Postmodern and post structuralist theorists such as Michel Foucault, Stuart Hall, and Henry Giroux put forward that notions of constructed knowledge, ethnicity, race, culture and community are dependant on certain concepts that essentializes categories of identity. These groupings, traditions and notions of communities are constructs and tools for normative rules for functionality and for the purpose of creating mythologies of unity and truths (Foucalut, 1980, Giroux, 1993, Hall, 1996). ' Parallels exist between .the use of science, as a means to describe our environment and legitimize differences, and the practice of legal and social rules to operationalize differences. 17 Categorization in itself is not necessarily problematic, what is at issue is the exercise of power to systematize categories or groups within specific power continuums, superior/inferior, insider/outsider, majority/minority or acceptable/unacceptable (Bannerji, 2000). Race and ethnicities as categories then become the framework whereby dominance is the objective. Racial ordering which creates this notion of a field of racial positions occurs within these power continuums and ethnic origin is used to manage challenges to dominant powers (Kim, 2000). Racial Ordering 1 . Racial ordering, racial hierarchy and racial triangulation are terms referring to the tendency of racialized power to systematically reproduce a set of relationships with racial groups. These relationships are developed through state institution, particular scientific knowledge and social meaning»(Kim, 2000). This ordering is linked to individual or group entitlement of various rights and privileges such as legal status, for example, who is or can be considered a citizen. This includes privileges such as who can own property, who can work, what they can do, and where they can work, who they can marry and where they can live. Canadian modalities for racial ordering throughout history will be discussed in the next chapter. In this chapter I would like to add to the discourse on racial ordering by introducing some contemporary examples of government policy that have had an impact on racial ordering. Social relations between different racialized groups are influenced by the means and extent to which they are included in the national polity. Racial ordering does not exist in a simplistic top to bottom field of power but is contextualized within a historical period and interfaced with power dynamics such as class and gender (Kim, 2000). I was brought up in a context where a particular racial hierarchy was clearly articulated, administered and legislated. The spacial locations follow a racialized road map, 18 British and their agents were on the top with Malay aristocracy as figureheads installed in opulent buildings, generally located in dominant city scapes. Chinese merchants and managers occupied the prestigious residential parts of the cities while Indian bureaucrats and agriculturists lived in cultivated lands and suburban areas and Malay resided in rural, "yet to be civilized" locations. The British colonial legacy created parallel and hierarchical relationships based on race arid class. Chinese in Malaysia held spacial, political and social positions that were established as a means for individuals, families and communities to interact and prosper. It is important to note my position was relevant to my class and to my family's ability to operate within the colonial infrastructure: Western educated, English speaking, Catholics, British company employee, Western dress and permed hair. My desire for whiteness in itself could never be realized regardless of the deep affinity with colonial cultural mores. In commentary on colonial literature, Homi Bhabha writes about the phenomenon of mimicry as a form of colonial subjugation - All the same but not white. This discourse places the colonial white man in position of authority over race, education, culture and nation. The articulation of mimicry reproduces, repeats, reenact and reestablishes this position. Colonial subjects become complacent and collude in the recreation of power dynamics that they disregard the fact that they may not become that European body (Bhabha, 1994). The othering of Malays and Indians was an important process my family learned in order to acquire solidarity with British ideology. Education was also an arena to establish dominance and distance, our local Malay school was considered inadequate given my parent's objectives for us. My older siblings, particularly my brother, were sent to British parochial school at 5 and 7 years old, continuing the 'separationist' sojourn tradition commonly experienced by the diasporan. English schooling was aggrandized, Convent of 19 the Sacred Heart, my alma mater, continues to be the location of anglicizing/globalizing for Malaysia's future generations of leaders. The worlds of Indian and Chinese in Malaysia rarely intersect except within a class context, the property owning and middle class Indians and Chinese who were Western educated are more likely to interact and socialize. ! On a trip back to Malaysia in 20001 took a bus from Penang to the capital city Kuala Lumpur. When I went to the bus station to ask about buses to KL I was repeatedly directed to a specific booth. Being the foreigner, I merely complied. At that booth I discovered that the next bus to KL was full and I was ' told that there would not be another available seat for another four hours. I was floored, I did not want to wait another four hours, I kept asking if they were sure. 'Sure-lah, just go to the kopi shop and have something to makan.' Dejected I loaded my somewhat new Mountain Equipment Coop Sierra backpack onto my ' shoulders and proceeded to the coffee shop. I got a seat and made myself comfortable in anticipation of a long wait under hot humid weather conditions. 30 minutes later I noticed a bus pull up across the square with a hand printed sign, KL X-pres. There was a group of people loading onto the bus, but it looked ' like there was ample seating. I grabbed my stuff to try my luck. I ended up having to convince the conductor to allow me to buy a ticket, I was suppose to buy my ticket at one of the ticket booths. Early on I noticed that the passengers, driver and operators were all Indian. They spoke to me in English, asked me a number or times if I was comfortable and insisted that I sit close to the bus driver. On the 6 hour trip we were entertained by Bollywood movies, stopped at Indian food malls and drove through areas predominantly populated by Indians 20 that I did not know existed. When I am in Malaysia I usually accompany my family to areas primarily frequented by Chinese. Parallel economies and societies exist that I had not really been exposed to. I could tell that the operators were concerned for me because I look Chinese but I did not seem to understand the normative behaviours, nor my place. The other passengers were curious about the idiosyncrasies but were themselves preoccupied with getting to their destinations. Colonialization and Globalization Constructs of race and ethnicity circumscribed by flexibility in the development of self is particularly relevant for minorities. They must interact within social, political and cultural i relations with other minority and dominant groups that may not have common goals and objectives. Throughout history the construction of race has been used as a concept to consolidate power and to rule over populations (Backhouse, 1999). Racialization was a very popular means to maximize corporate and national interest during colonializaton. After World War One, European consolidation of imperialism replaced colonialization and was the precursor to transnational corporate globalization (Amin, 2001) Globalization is associated with extended spacial and flexible forms of production, movement of capital, goods, people and information. This is charaterized by the deconstruction of boundaries and a process of exchange and flow over short periods. It can be argued that globalization is an inevitability of modernity and technology, this is a. perception of the world as an interweaving of multiple processes that connect individuals and communities on an equal and free basis. On the other hand, globalization can be seen as the unfetted expansion of capital trade that transforms national boundaries, cultural norms, political structures, political relations and social relations, under economically driven conditions. Colonialization is the foundation under which current modalities of globalization are operating. The relations and attributes of globalization such as labour restructuring, military regulation, structure of capital flow, movement of natural resources and transmission of cultural forms can be found in colonialization. The contemporary social, economic and political context cannot be separated from the inscription of European powers established from the late fifteenth century onwards (Papastergiadis, 2000). British influenced infrastructure, already present in Malaysia well before independence in education, governance, business and society, was further established through a legacy of deal making and negotiating to consolidate power for post independence governance. British were active in 'dividing ' the social, political and economic powers and tasks of governing between the races, in part to facilitate their ideals of a smooth transition to independence but also to ensure that future trade activities would be possible. These negotiations were based on prescribed ethnic and racial charateristics and existing power structures (Yin , 1983). The Malaysia - Canada Connection Growing up in Malaysia meant acquiring knowledge and awareness of distinct roles of different ethnic groups. In Canadian modern capitalist liberal democratic values are based on the notions of majority vs minority rule. There are also assumptions that our society is based on colour-blind meritocracy and equality of opportunity. The rules, roles and limitations based on particularities such as class, gender and race are masked. Despite the hegemony and ideology of equality, identity and group identifications are important modalities for governance, control and participation in civic activity. Identity and groups are constructed in particular ways to reproduce dominant structures and to create notions of democratic majorities; ethnicity has a prescribed role within that structure that must not be disrupted. In • • ! • 22 Canada when racialized citizens organize within their communities to participate in the national polity this engagement is seen as a threat to the status quo. Most recently there were criticisms leveled towards the Liberal Party of Canada for recruiting Indo Canadian members in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Martin Collacott, a former Canadian ambassador, career diplomat and Fraser Institute Senior Fellow in immigration, refugee, and anti-terrorism studies, along with three others wrote a letter to the National Post on Wednesday, August 13, 2003. From Des Verma, Lenn Chow, Martin Collacott, and Steve Kaufman We are deeply concerned about the manner in which the federal Liberal party has been expanding its membership in a manner which will promote divisions within : Canadian society. According to recent reports, the party has achieved a record number of more than 37,000 members in British Columbia by using what are essentially race-based recruitment techniques. The result is that people of Indian ' and Chinese origin constitute two-thirds of Liberal Party of Canada members in B.C., even though they comprise only 15% of the population of the province. One recent report in the Vancouver Sun stated that one Liberal campaign official had indicated as many as 80% of B.C. members were Sikhs. We and our families combine many backgrounds ~ South Asian, Central European Jewish, Chinese, English, Latino, Vietnamese, Irish and Caribbean. We, like most Canadians, are pleased that Canada is by international standards a very tolerant society, increasingly colour-blind, where people of all origins are regarded as equally Canadian. Unfortunately the Liberal Party of Canada wants to divide Canadians by race to further its own political interests. We regularly listen to and read the ethnic media and are well aware of how certain leaders in these communities, including journalists and even federal Liberal politicians, use the language of race to promote their own narrow agendas at the expense of broader Canadian interests. The Liberal party is deliberately exploiting this communalism as a recruitment tactic. Communalism and communally based political recruitment breeds resentment among ethnic groups not only towards the "white mainstream" but also between ethnic groups. We now hear prominent Chinese complaining that the Indians have more power than the Chinese, we hear of other ethnic groups complaining about the "Chinese agenda" and so on. Creating ethnic-based voting blocs in ridings is an effective way to recruit new members, but the result is anti-democratic. This approach is known as "vote banks" in India where it has contributed to communal strife in that country. These voting blocs can be used to determine the outcomes1 at both nomination meetings and elections themselves, with the result that winning candidates are left with a debt to specific ethnic groups rather than to the whole electorate. While this may bring with it short-term electoral benefits for the party, it is clearly not good for Canada. It is natural and 23 right that newcomers get involved politically, and it is understandable that on some issues they may have interests that are specific to their particular ethnic group. In general, however, Canada is a better place if all Canadians vote based on their own opinions and interests as individuals and are not merely organized as ethnic voting blocs for the benefit of certain politicians. The Liberal party has a responsibility to promote the responsible democratic participation of all citizens and is doing the opposite. We express these concerns more in sorrow than in anger. We have voted for the Liberal Party of Canada for most of our lives, and for many years, regarded it as the most effective federal party for realizing our dream of a united and tolerant nation where all citizens work together in the best interests of everyone in the country. It is clear, however, that the party has abandoned these principles when it comes to increasing its membership by recruiting new members on the basis of their ethnic background. The Liberal Party of Canada is currently in a position of unprecedented power, with most observers predicting that it will not be seriously challenged at the polls for some years to come. Surely this is the time for it to begin acting in a principled manner and in the best interests of the country. (Ethnic Block Voting, 2002) Mr. Collacott brings 30 years of distinguished service in the Department of External Affairs for Canada. Among his assignments during this time was that of Director General for Security Services and in this capacity he was responsible for the coordination of counter-terrorism policy at the international level. He has represented Canada's Department of External Affairs in Indochina, Hong Kong, Lagos, and Tokyo. During the late 1960s, he served as the Chinese-speaking member of the Canadian negotiating team which established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. Later in his career, Mr. Collacott was appointed as High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Ambassador to Syria and Lebanon, and as Ambassador to Cambodia. In 1 the course of these assignments he had major responsibilities for delivery of • immigration and refugee programs. This experience has left him with a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges posed by this very important area of public policy. (Fraser Institute, 2002) This letter was a criticism of the Liberal party towards what they perceived as the use and exploitation of race based recruitment practices. In their words, 'Canada is a better place if all Canadians vote based on their own opinions and interests as individuals and are not merely organized as ethnic voting blocs for the benefit of certain politicians'. Apparently long "established strategies of consolidating political power are not good for Canada 24 especially if those looking for. engagement in the polity are from racialized communities. Also contained within that letter was a recognition of the social dynamics that occur between marginalized groups without critical analysis of how the polity is narrowly structured to allow or disallow participation. 'Communalism and communally based political recruitment breeds resentment among ethnic groups not only towards the "white mainstream" but also between ethnic groups. We now hear prominent Chinese complaining that the Indians have more power than the Chinese, we hear of other ethnic groups complaining about the "Chinese agenda" and so on' (Collacott, 2002) Individuals and groups from minority communities are aggrandized and celebrated for successes relative to 'other' failures. Minority affiliation with dominant structures may be seen as a strategy in which minorities acquire social capital, within certain constraints. My desire as a child to be affiliated with whiteness and maleness reflects the need for affirmation and acceptance into a league where possibilities and opportunities are more accessible. In my world I could gain acceptance only if I rejected my Chineseness because Chineseness limited my access to certain privilege. Racial ordering operates as an arrangement to triangulate power dynamics between the interest of diverse 'minority' groups and the status quo. The colonial powers did' not have to soil their hands on the pedantic work of maintaining racial hierarchies, these communities were more than able to maintain the boundaries and mythologies to retain certain privileges and concessions. Identity formation, racial hierarchies and colonialism are just some of the issues that touched my life as a youth preparing to immigrate to Canada. Extremely complex, historically formed relations accompany many postcolonial migrants to Canada. The process of becoming Canadian is the product of interjections of multiple influences, histories, experiences and desires. 25 CHAPTER THREE - WHERE TO The first meal I had in Canada was a Big Mac at the MacDonalds on Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver, it was my 13th birthday. 1 was so excited to be in Canada, I was going to become Canadian which by default was not Chinese or Malaysian or Asian. My vision of Canada was that it was just like England only bigger and it was in North America so we would also be American, Room 222, Gilligan's Island, Bewitched and The Brady Bunch. For the first month we stayed in a motel at the bottom of Grouse Mountain, owned by a family from, India, not far from my where my second cousins lived. After that initial period, we moved into a bungalow just across the street from my new school, I was going to high school, not convent school or primary school but HIGH SCHOOL, with North American children. At first school was exciting, no uniforms, you did not stay in the same class but actually got to move around - teachers had to stay in the classes. My sense of awe and excitement was short lived, I can say now with utmost certainty and conviction that high school was the most dismal and damaging experience of my life, even more so than sitting under paintings ofpartially naked women. Nothing had prepared me for the disappointment and devastation of HS. I don't mean to be melodramatic but I often think that my life has been on one long downward spiral since I was 9, when I had to leave my beloved mining town. Once in school I was surprised, confused and somewhat disappointed to find other Chinese kids, most of them came from Hong Kong and spoke 26 Cantonese, I couldn't even speak a word of 'good' Chinese, just some peasant version. In Malaysia there was no question that I was Chinese and that my family was Chinese, not withstanding my need and desire to reject my Chineseness. But here I did not even feel Chinese and not in a good way. I was treated like some retard Chinese by the Hong Kong kids because I could not speak the language or understand the culture. In Malaysia my family was proud that we were educated in English and spoke perfect English. But here our English was not good enough, I was ridiculed and teased for my odd accent and strange expressions. Our house was across the street from the school, of course my parents would buy a house actoss the street from what they determined through the immigrant network as one of the best schools in Vancouver. In their anxiety to nourish us and protect us from undue 'bad' influences, they insisted that we return home for lunch; so every day my sister and I would cross the street at noon hour. Every day, before my sojourn home I would yell to my locker neighbours 'Bye, I'm going home to makan'. After a number of months they actually cared enough to ask me what I was saying. Oh dear. I had completely forgotten that makan was not an English word but it meant to eat in Bahasa Malaysia. I had failed in Canadianess. I was taunted and harassed relentlessly until the next year when I was in grade 9 and I could pick on others. Teenagers by nature have an ambivalent relationship with their parents, immigrant newcomer teenagers out of imposed need and desperation develop a completely twisted relationship with their parents. So, we lived 27 across the street from school, everybody knew that, not because I was a fabulous athlete or that my sister and I were totally popular but because every winter my dad and his.cousins would go deer hunting. If they were fortunate enough to bag a deer they would hang the dead carcass from our cherry tree in the backyard - to 'bleed'. We came to be known as the Bambi killers - I hated my parents. They spoke funny, they dressed odd, they acted strange and most of all they were completely oblivious of the angst they were causing in my life. They were too busy trying to find jobs and acting freaky. In Malaysia my mother was a teacher and my father was an engineer, after they left Canada at ages 43 and 45 respectively, they never worked in their chosen careers. My mother found a job working in a dry-cleaning shop and as a cashier for a convenience store, while my father spent hours scouring newspaper ads for 'deals' or planning for a restaurant he would never own. He spent hours in his garden cultivating Chinese vegetables that he would cook for us and watch us eat, filling us with his dreams, hopes and frustrations. All the while ensuring that we remembered our Chinese ways and were protected from 'bad'Canadian influences. I was forbidden to participate in 'normal' Canadian teenager activities such as extra curricular sports, art and sleepovers. My sisters who were always considered the 'good' girls did not seem particularly put out by these rules, it certainly did not disrupt or conflict with their social or academic plans for themselves. On the other hand I was in constant conflict with my parents about being on sports teams, the desire to take woodworking and art instead of home economics and 28 sewing, spending time at school playing and not at home and other generalized teenager/parental incompatibilities. My parents immigrated to Canada because they felt that the social and political conditions in Malaysia meant that my siblings and I would not be able to maximize our potential. They would have had to send us abroad for schooling because there were a limited number of spaces in Malaysian Universities for Chinese, and we were not particularly brilliant or • hardworking. My oldest sister was sent away to boarding school in England at age 13. When my mother returned after their trip there to install her at St Maur's Girls School she seemed distracted and stressed. That summer, Patricia returned for the hols seemingly larger than life, she was the most amazing creature in my sphere. She had developed a terrifyingly womanly body, she wore skin tight jeans and spoke with a British accent. I was terrified and yet mesmerized by her, I dared not look at her directly yet longed to be near her at all times. Boarding School or Vancouver School Board? It was important for rriy parents to keep the family whole, we had already spent much of our time as a family separated and my parents could no longer justify the fragmentation. If we stayed in Malaysia, following the well traveled airways of previous generations of Chinese and Indian children, we would have been sent abroad to the UK, Australia or America for studies. Like seeds in a pod scattered to take root wherever we land with the possibility of summoning the family or to be recalled back to the homeland after years of separation. ,Like generations and millions of diasporan units, immigration, to Canada was the 29 chance for my parents to raise their families in a manner that made sense to them and td give i to their children an opportunity to establish themselves. Years later I returned to Malaysia to visit my cousins, they were successful professionals educated in Australia, the States or Britain returning to work in multinational companies. They lived in gated communities serviced by maids, chauffeurs and guards, their children attended International schools and they lived a life of country clubs and privilege. Malaysia was one of the new Asian Tigers, economic powerhouses in the region and modernization was everywhere. Was Canada such a good future for us? What were my parents thinking? They had never been to Canada so what were their expectations? Possibilities of prosperity, ideologies of equality, better weather? , In this chapter I explore how a newcomer would perceive Canada and their place in Canada. To adequately define Canada I look at the historical development of our nation based on Critical Race Theory,'this includes national projection of our image, the process of maintaining notions of Canada, and the discourse and management of immigration. , Racialization working parallel with gender and class has been an integral part in the building of our confederation, developing a National identity, creating and operationalzing our government, developing national policy and engagement of the polity (Ng, 1993). These issues have an impact even on a thirteen year old youth who is just one of thousands of new immigrants entering Canada in a single year. Canada: A Quick Historical Perspective Canada is a country of immigrants and indigenous peoples but that does not mean that all immigrants or indigenous peoples are welcome or are valued equally. In fact the 'race' to populate, exploit and 'civilize'' the vast geography called Canada started in 1497 which marks the beginning of European settlement (Kelly & Trebilcock, 1998). The relocation and 30 recruitment of settlers from France and Britain to Canada exemplified colonial strategies to use populations and the development of communities as the means to claim land. French interest encouraged people to have large families by offering financial incentives and British interest encouraged migration through promises of land and resources. It is commonly known that Canada is a confederation that was built by two founding races - French and English. Racialization has a long history in Canadian national identity, politics and policy that cannot be separated from other white colonial settler societies such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa (Pearson, 2001). . In the early 19th century Canada was seen as a raceless society as reflected in historical writings and a lack of reference to race within our legal history. This took place despite evidence of racialization such as treatment of First Nation peoples, distinctions between Saxon, Celtics, Irish and other 'English' communities and restrictions placed on Chinese, Japanese and Black civic participation. The perception exists of Canada as raceless and therefore a non-racist country especially in contrast to the United States where white/black hegemony that dominate the discourse which persists to this day (Backhouse, 1999). This mythology/ideology has made way for contemporary notions of Canada as a harmonious multicultural nation and therefore non-racist. The paradoxical and shifting nature of racial designations and ethnicity has been used in Canada to regulate challenges to the status quo, and to consolidate popular opinion (Kelly & Trebilcock, 1998). The creation of Anglo Saxon majority and Francophone minority and the continued construction of commonality based on race and ethnicity has a long and convoluted history in Canada. In the 1930's and 1940's racial groups in Canada referred to European racial groups of English, Scottish, French, Welsh and Irish descent. At that time these were seen as distinct racial types yet to be fused into the social and political condition now commonly consigned as 31 English Canada. In part the ongoing struggle between French and English Canada contributes to the fertile ground in which different groups grapple with identity as the primary vehicle to gain political power and entitlement in Canada. Immigration and the Mosaic Movements of peoples across space and national boundaries are an all encompassing i characteristic of human history'. The impetus that dictates movement includes the pursuit of food, education or capital, escape from violence, the lure of financial incentives, adventure or the desire to follow family and tribe. Motivations for migration do not alter the consequences related to migration, which have an impact on the migrating individual and the country of origin as well as on the destination country and their communities. The European colonizer's vision of Canada, which has always informed immigration policy, was one of 'white' Canada. Racist rationale such as perceived suitability due to climate, geography, adaptability and social needs derived from pseudo scientific means, psychiatry and eugenics were used to exclude undesirable groups of people (Comeau & Allahar, 2001). In modern immigration policy notions such as language and education are assigned points to articulate value and to measure suitability as immigrants. Early on in our history, Canada strove to remain true to the two founding nations France and Britain to maintain the cultural, social and political integrity emerging from those jurisdictions. The goal of building a nation of superior citizens of European/White descents is a legacy that cannot easily be erased. This is a part of our psyche and systematic governance that privileges a particular racial and cultural orientation. In part there is strategy in place by which economic growth and social and cultural enrichment, pillars of the Immigration Act, are interpreted racially, economically and in gendered ways. 32 The key objectives of Immigration are to: • Contribute to Canada's economic growth, • Contribute to social and cultural enrichment, • Protect Canadian health, safety and good order, • Meet international humanitarian commitments (CIC, 2002). The Canadian federal government has construed these objectives from a particular perspective that continues to privilege certain types of immigrants. For example, contribution to Canadian ecortqmic growth means choosing new immigrants based on the amount of investment dollars they bring into Canada. The preference for mobile and ready capital may have unintended consequences on citizenship and nationalism. Generally the rhetoric from immigrant receiving countries is that immigrants are being given a golden opportunity when the trade off is that their labour is required by the receiving country to maintain or improve standards of living for the country. These messages also depend on the type of immigrant being recruited. In a documentary presented by CTV a number of years ago, federal, provincial and municipal recruiters were encouraging white doctors from South Africa to immigrate to Canada with promises of signing bonuses and support for accreditation. Meanwhile anecdotal evidence indicates that many physicians from racialized countries could not practice in Canada because of their lack of local experience and accreditation. There is persistent mythology that racialized immigrants are the sole beneficiaries of Canada's magnanimity. Throughout history Canada has strategically used immigration to claim territories from aboriginal peoples and to expedite economic 33 expansion through labour and consumption. Racialization in immigration policy was initially used as a means to displace indigenous populations, to build the nation and later as cheap labour (Kelly & Trebilcock, 1998). What is often referred to as the Canadian Mosaic was coined by an American journalist at the turn of the century to refer to the diverse communities of Scots, Welsh, Irish and English and the retention of distinct Anglo cultural identities (Gibbon, 1938). Current retelling and reconceptualizing of the Mosaic places Canada in the forefront of multicultural, non-assimilationist and anti-racist nationhood. Throughout Canadian history the recruitment of immigrants and the immigration process has also fulfilled an acculturation process. My parents were accepted because they were western educated, spoke English, were Christians, heterosexual and could afford to bring $150,000 into the country for investment purposes. There was the gathering of information or research into the possibility for immigration, physically visiting the.Canadian High Commission or their agents for immigration advice, interviews, written applications, criteria to be met, bureaucracies to navigate and countless other formal and informal steps whereby my family learnt what to expect from Canadianism. Currently the selection based on a reconceptualized supposedly "race neutral" point system introduced in 1974 is focused on language (English or French), education (type and institution), occupation, marriage status, age, access to resources, health and other factors which predetermines the type of preferred immigrant. Compounding this assumed neutral process is the impact and interpretation of individual immigration officers who are trained and socialized in racialized, gendered and class contexts. In reality we are not as diverse as we claim. There has been a selection process whereby communities are created. Even though immigrants enter Canada under three possible categories', the selection is based on core values mentioned above. Under the family reunification class, there are shared histories, heritage and often common 34 value systems. The creation of these communities further limits alternate and hybrid expressions of ethnicity and cultures. The paradox created for racialized communities reflects the tension existing within Multicultural and Immigration policy. On one hand, immigrant communities are rarefied and exotified in their expression and use of cultural products. We are expected to be Chinese in acceptable ways. In my case I was not Chinese enough and I could never really be Canadian. On the other hand there are demands that immigrant communities become acculturated to adopt 'Canadian' values and attitudes. If being Canadian includes the existence of multiple and diverse representations of culture, why then is it so necessary for Citizenship and Immigration Canada to select individuals that fit into 'our' way of life. Migrants have integrated, will integrate and do integrate into host communities. Multiculturalism policy and rhetoric is a specific institution that not only responds to pressure from communities to enhance civic participation, but also to manage integration in acceptable ways (Hage, 2000). In reality there is fluidity and incredible varied ways in which hybrid cultures and communities make sense of their roles as Canadians. Alternative readings of conventional modalities can be used by racialized communities within social and political relations. When this happens they are labeled ^ s not fitting within in the Canadian way of life and exploiting Canadian generosity. Ironically although there is discourse concerning Canadian values, lifestyles and culture there is very little substantiated comments that define the Canadian lifestyles and culture. Take for example a letter that was written to the Vancouver Courier in June 2002 (See next page). The writer suggests that future immigrants be made to attend classes on Canada, ostensibly to learn about Canada and Canadian lifestyles. It would be interesting to explore what values and lifestyles the writer means. i 35 ^4 fl cs 4> _C d w fl „ u O V *— • -2 £ P k- C c a « ~ — « 4> fl -fl O j j <u bo _C fl s o « o •2 fl ° 3 O u 3 S ' S fl .2 £ « s. 0 bo fl — . CT1 « 1 » H > <D 0> <+S - o fl o fl • —* cu fe c bo o Cu <v -fl • u w o t/1 fl^ I 8 g-3 fl -2 o « « . C O fl •-< ja o § * * -2 « _t £ —i 1-^ CO * 3 « fl & c i fl - C o fe -TO CO fl J 5 bo 03 -a « fl es : u -"-< fl o -fl v fl " f"> M ™ bo o <s x & | l T3 O O -fl *-< 3 O JO b O ' u c o s bo bo.JS o - f l »-< i-i C3 Cu -g" c s fl w C -~ « oo fl fl fl 3J fe bo *-> tn 5J bo ill ^ O -O C C3 I - I bo « fl « fl —" -o E | > 2 § ^ «J 4-1 1 5 c .t; i) -A « ^ J5 fl ° O i f ! bC •0 O . w -fl bo fl -a H 0) bo CC bo"u fl O f 36 Nation Building and Citizenship In dominant hegemony the mythology of Canada and notions of Canada are reconstructed histories and reconstituted identities of Canadians who inhabit these borders. These particularities in part grew out of a vision of nationhood and a desire for separation from.the sphere of Britain and France yet continuing to sustain a British and French identity. Equally as important was the heed for a defensive response to threats of annexation by the US particularly after the War of Independence (Kelly & Trebilcock, 1998). The threats were sufficient to consolidate cooperation between the French and English despite over 300 years of conflict and competition. Immigration policy emerged to ensure that this vision would be reinforced with increased populations and industry. Canada's first Immigration Act in 1869 contained prohibitions to exclude individuals based on physical disabilities, criminality and lack of resources for self-sufficiency.' .Although there was no formal race-based prohibitions until the passing of the Chinese Immigration Act in 1885, there were practices that privileged immigrants from Britain, Northern Europe and America. There were more immigration offices and agents available in those areas and these immigrants were also provided with excellent incentives (Kelly & Trebilcock, 1998). This practice is still operational today, there are still more immigration offices in European countries and recruitment is more rigorous in European dominated areas. Historically, recruitment of immigrants follows perceptions of who would make good Canadians, as sources for immigrants become more diverse and the number of immigrants expands- exponentially, admission and removal policies emerge as a means to articulate who would be permitted to enter the country and who could become citizens (Kelly & Trebilcock, 1998). 37 Duties of the Citizen The first one is to try and understand as well as you can our system of government, and to keep yourself informed as to all the important acts of those who are in authority... .Therefore, your second duty as a citizen is to put your knowledge of the nation and its government to practical use by taking an active part in politics... .A third duty incumbent on you as a citizen is to be ready to assist, so far as you are able, all good causes. You ought never to oppose them by speaking ill of them or by making them objects of ridicule.. .But the most important of all causes which we should support is that of religion. A nation that scoffs at religion is in grave peril... .There is hardly any doubt that, if such a course were consistently followed we should soon have a bright and happy world. (Jenkins, 1910, p. 165-169) This quote was taken out of a book written in 1910 intended for educational purposes. The objectives was to provide a foundation for presenting the system of government and to develop a concept of individual duties and responsibilities and responsibilities as Canadian citizens. The author's perspectives reflect a kind of social order and values such as support for religion and inappropriateness of criticism towards government. Benedict Anderson in his seminal work, Imagined Communities, talks about how communities are conceptualized, envisioned and actualized through the power of imagination and the desire to recreate a vision (Anderson, 1983). Access to creating the vision is the prerogative of the dominant group in power. Immigration policy is closely tied to. concepts of the nation and articulation of the future of the nation and communities. Immigration may be seen as the operationalzatipn of this imagination. • 38 Nation building is also linked to citizenship engagement and the manner in which we expect citizens to participate in our liberal democratic framework. Newcomers and new citizens are acculturated into our liberal democratic framework through citizenship education and through the citizenship exam that all new citizens have to pass. There are subtle ways in which the expectations on new citizens are different from the expectations of participation on existing 'Canadian' populations. Again the commentaries regarding racialized block voting reflect this double standard. There needs to be considerations of the diverse definitions and modalities of democracy. Racialized immigrants and groups demanding participation and equality are seen not as patriots participating in the democratic process to make our country better, but as self interested parties looking to forward their special interest. Demands for fairness and inclusion means that they have stepped outside their intended economic and cultural roles, threatening to change the 'essential' Canadian identity. When governments, groups and individuals talk about the need to embrace the history and legacy of our Canadianness, racism and racialization are precisely what they refer to, but refuse to acknowledge. In doing so those of us hyphenated Canadians most vulnerable to racism are placed in a insider/outsider positionality that orbits Canadian social and political matrix. As a racialized Canadian I am simultaneously drawn and encouraged by the magnetic ideology of the centre to participate, engage and affect political and social life in Canada, even though the conditions for engagement, for me, are narrowly ascribed. And yet I am repeatedly rejected and repelled by perceived incompatibility of my demarcated and apparently inauthentic hyphenated Canadianness. • The vision, projection^ and future of Canadian identity are entrenched in how citizenship is defined and through institutions like Heritage Canada, that in turn act to exert an influence on immigration policy. National identity and nation building have created : ! 39 notions of Canadian that are generally perceived as white (Pearson, 2001). Parallel processes exist in defining who is Canadian and who is not Canadian. Historically, a person who is not a Canadian is anyone who could not physically assimilate into whiteness. My initial perceptions of Canada and what it meant to me was that I no longer would have to carry the label of Chinese but would be Canadian, I would no longer 'carry the burden' and limitations of Chineseness. Of course the reality was that more than ever I was categorized, but in ways completely foreign to me, with meanings, lexicon, categories and labels that I was not familiar with. Canadian racism and racialization created an expectation that I was not prepared to manage. More than ever I was racialized and marginalized but without apparent and open social and political rules and guidelines. More or less these racialized forms were hidden and masked under liberal individualism, equality and liberty. In my experience in Malaysia the roles and social stratification was clear and visible. I believed in the promise of equality and acceptance in Canada. Despite promises of multiculturalism, individualism and equality, I was constantly seen and defined by my race and/or supposed ethnicity. Under these conditions categories were essentialized. Chinese meant being from Hong Kong, China or Taiwan and speaking or understanding Chinese, which did not encompass Chinese diasporas in modernity. I did not fit into Canadian society and I was not readily accepted by Chinese communities either, yet government agencies and society defined me as Chinese. When governments essentialize race and ethnicity they force individuals to fit into boxes that may not exist. Racial Hierarchy in Canada The field of racial ordering in Canada is neither simplistic nor static. Contrasted with the American context whereby Black and White are the primary axis of racial order representing bottom and top respectively, Canadian forms of racial ordering represent an 40 i - . ' i f ' added dimension of subtleties embodied in the national multicultural vision (Alyward, 1999). This is further complicated by the making of majorities within a liberal democratic attendant condition, whereby the presence of a critical mass of racialized essentialized communities are valued within the power structures, not so much to challenge the existing frameworks, but invited to collude with existing hegemonies (Gladney, 1998). There is continued discourse around which community is the largest immigrant community, which is the source country contributing the most new immigrants, what are the populations of the different immigrant groups. Statistical and numerical data, economic and social capital are just some modalities to 'place' communities in relation to others. Gender and racialization interfaces to create specific power dynamics. In contemporary migration trends women are more likely to leave their homeland either permanently or temporarily as low wage labourers in the service and manufacturing sectors (Papastergiadis, 2000). In particular, the recruitment of women as temporary workers in industries such as live-in care givers and domestic labour occupied a different immigration and economic objective contributing to the racialized and feminized hierarchy in Canadian social relations. In the 1960s and 70s Caribbean women were recruited to work in households in urban Eastern Canadian cities. Western Canadian urban professional families depend on the labour of Filipino women as domestic labourers. In the early 1900s Chineseness was constructed in contrast with Canadian whites as unassimilable and completely! foreign on cultural, scientific and racial grounds. In the 1980s the Mulroney-led Conservative government further proclaimed the economic imperatives of multiculturalism and immigration. In particular the government was looking for ways to capitalize on the developing Asian economies. Foreign affairs and international trade at a national and provincial level were repositioned to attract Asian investments and business 41 partnerships. Immigration and multiculturalism practice were part of a hegemonic channel for business migration and influx of educated, skilled professionals, who not only brought their investment dollars and expertise but also their connections to Asian economic networks (Elliott & Fleras, 2003). In particular the Chinese from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong were seen as attractive partners because of the potential market for Canadian goods and services. Now in 2003, Chinese are seen as model citizens and their cultural, racial and ethnic particularities are valourized relative to economic and cultural contributions. The perception of Chinesness as a mobile economic force with advanced entrepreneural capitalist resources and tendencies as well as the recognition of a unique fraternal links among overseas Chinese in economic relationships provided an opening or justification for increased immigration from those areas (Ong, 2000). Nowhere is state control of racial hierarchy and identity more evident than in the r continued subjugation of First Nations people in Canada. First Nations people continue to be identified and racialized by the state through the Indian Act, which requires the registration of 'status' Indians under the provision of certain conditions and regulations. Who is or is not a 'status' Indian becomes a complex set of eugenic codes which means that family members sharing the same grandparents may be categorized differently, eligible for different privileges and rights and classified differently under legal and social regulations. These inequities and state controlled identifiers create elaborate social relations between individuals, within families, communities, tribes and within the national context. Not only does the state have the power to define individual identity, it has the ability to place individuals within a hierarchy of belonging. I came to Canada in 1975 during a period in which Canadian immigration trends were undergoing some changes. More and more immigrants were coming from Asia which was a 42 shift from traditional sources in Europe. This trend continues in relation to other non-traditional sources. In 2003, a higher percentage of new immigrants came from countries such as Latin America, Africa and the Middle East (CIC, 2003). As someone outside of Canada I assumed Canada to be white despite my real experience with my cousins (all twenty one of them), the presence of other visible minorities, and my own landing. Even now when I travel I am often greeted with surprise and confusion when I say that I am Canadian, it disrupts people's image of who is Canadian. Canada has worked very hard in establishing a image nationally and globally as the Great White North despite the recent multicultural'discourse. Most our leaders and their representatives continue to be, white and male. ! In the next chapter it becomes clear how the notions of Canadian do not easily mesh with existing and imaginary identities especially for racialized immigrants that cannot assimilate into whiteness. 43 C H A P T E R F O U R - C U T T O FIT, DIY (Do It Yourself) Physics has never been an easy subject for me despite my fondness for bodies in motion. In my first year at university I took physics as a requirement for my Science degree but which was not my choice but one determined by my parents, but was preferable to the other option they presented - business. At one point I was doing so poorly in my course that I had to go to the professor to plead for some consideration to retake a particular test in which I, as my mum would say, got a big duck egg. I was very shy and nervous, as this was unfamiliar terrain. The prof was very busy and asked for me to talk to him as he traversed between classes or meetings or whatever it is that professors do. As I tried to tell him of the troubles that I was having with the principles associated with fluid friction, he kept interrupting me, how great it was that people like me were in University. He was saying that people like me should make better use of the kinds of education and opportunities available to us. Parents ofpeople like me should encourage their children to finish school and better themselves. At one point I stopped talking altogether to let him tell me how people like me are going to be the leaders of our generations and how people like me are the hope for the future because we understand the need to learn to be successful Canadians. It wasn't a long walk from one cement structure to the next cement structure, at the" termination point where whatever professors do takes place he agreed to give me a passing grade if I completed some banal assignment. Yippee! ! : 44 It occurred to me while I was walking back to the land of student peons that he had mistaken me for aboriginal. At first I was a little confused, and then I was a bit insulted that he had mistaken me for Indian as in Aboriginal, finally I was somewhat pleased that I managed to gain my objective despite the ambiguous means. What does it matter that he thinks I am Indian as long as I get what I want - / wonder how I can further benefit from this mistaken identity. Vancouver Chinatown, 1976, I would beg and plead for my mother to take me to the only moyie theatre in town that screened kungfu movies from Hong Kong, it was one of the many things I missed about Malaysia. The only Native people I encountered from a distance were in Chinatown, mostly they were street people and their presence scared me. Occasionally I would catch on the news images of Natives in the interior of BC or some place in Northern Ontario protesting asking that the government do something about their living conditions. Why couldn 't they take care of themselves? Why didn't they have homes? Why can't they find work? The answers that came to me usually involved the perception that First Nations people were responsible for their circumstances. In those days, I would think to myself how come the Native people were always complaining. They had access to free post-secondary education, they did no\ have to pay taxes, and the government provided land and welfare. They were causing all kinds of trouble and did not take advantage of the kinds of support the government was giving them. Until I was an adult and started working in the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre I did not have any contact with Native people. I did have a 45 friend who was Native and I never really knew how to relate to her. I always felt uncomfortable and awkward. I'm not particularly shy but it was always easier for me to interact with white people. I don't remember learning anything about Aboriginal peoples in school nor do I recall knowing of any Aboriginal kids attending my school. When my niece was in Grade Two at Queen Elizabeth Elementary School her class did a section on Northern communities, specifically Inuit. She learnt how to make an Inukshuk out of stones she found on her way to school and she could write hello in Inuit. She made a poster that said hello in Inuit that is still prominently displayed in her room. She is now in Grade Eight. It seemed to me that she was very excited and enthusiastic about different languages and cultures, eager to be a supportive godparent and auntie I asked her to tell me what she learnt at school regarding Canada's most northern citizens. 'It was interesting to me that she used the past tense to refer to the activities undertaken by our neighbours to the north. From her I discovered that Inuit used to hunt caribou and they used every part of the boo. We had some discussion about how the meat would be prepared, kind of seasonings or preservative were used, accompanying dishes and other culinary issues related to the caribou and other northern delicacies. Finally I asked how she came to know so much about these communities and how these folks lived. She explained to me how this guy from UBC came out to their • class and he brought lots of cool things to show them like fur shoes and bone utensils. Imagine my surprise when Ifound out that he was a white man who was an anthropology student at UBC who goes around to different schools 46 sharing knowledge of these communities. 'Huh, are you sure he was white?' 'Yeah' How would you feel if some white dude came to your class to tell you about Chinese New Year? I suggested that she should ask her teacher about this issue and see if it would be possible to invite an Inuit person to come to the class. Being 8 years old she was not particularly interested in bringing this up with her teacher, "Godma that would be stupid. " Was he white? Maybe he was mixed heritage? Maybe he was fnuit. Was he white? N e g o t i a t i n g I d e n t i t i e s In this chapter I discuss issues of negotiating identities, how newcomers develop new schema that integrate and interface with existing knowledge and identities. This is related to a complex interaction between self-perception, ascribed self and the perception of others. Outcomes are convoluted and; multifaceted, not only in ways that we integrate information : • 1 • ' r about other individuals and their communities which is often based on the information and images available to us and not necessarily from direct experiences. In Canadian society this is managed through schooling, mass media, and government policy. Relationships are created through these images and information despite our actual experiences. Benedict Anderson writes about the impossibility for each one of us to know everyone else in our communities at a micro, macro or national level (Anderson, 1983). Dominant hegemony has 47 the power and ability to define, frame and construct individual interactions and impressions and reconstruct reality to meet predetermined objectives. The dominant group is in the position to name and represent nationhood, culture, race, relevance and ethnicity to us and to some degree they manage what we do with the information. In the telling and retelling of stories, we choose what is important to us and make those points stand out. Just as my niece and I are fixated on food we would have the tendency to gravitate to subjects, information and images relevant to food, this provides a snapshot but not a whole image of particular cultures. If we were responsible for educational curriculum we would make sure that everyone would be aware of the regional and culturally diverse foodstuff available and the different strategies for preparation, storage and consumption. In our world it would be mandatory for all students to understand the difference between braise, broil and baste. The retelling in education brings about a tendency to structure and present information (knowledge) in a comparative modality relevant within our context, our interpretations and for our purposes. For me learning about Canada and how to be a Canadian has been a journey of intentional and 'by chance' uncovering of alternative realities and histories. Compounding the complexity of spacial and social separation of Canadian communities, newcomers and new immigrants come with prescribed notions of self and identities that are a part of global reality making. When these identities interface with racialization within the Canadian context there are complex issues that emerge. For example the designations of East Asian, South Asian and First Nations may not be easily understood lexicon by people who, by Canadian definition, may be South Asian or East Asian but may have quite different 'labels' for themselves. Individuals also have their own schemas for identities, some may privilege linguistic association, some religious, geographic or ethnic. •i < The categories do not speak to the diversity of individual experience, it is assumed that 48 Caucasian, European and/or white Canadians are individuals and experience diverse histories and life paths while Chinese Canadians are assumed to be homogeneous. While most Chinese Canadians have historical links to China, Hong Kong or Taiwan, even within this context there are regional, class, generational and linguistic differences. The category of Chinese is ascribed on all people of Chinese descent regardless of their country of origin. Chinese from countries like Trinidad, Kenya, Malaysia, Philippines and Brazil are expected to have solidarity arid commonality with all Chinese. For second, third or fifth generation Chinese from diasporas outside 'Chinese' nations the subtleties of identity are lost and the experience of colonialism and history of family and migration are easily transformed. Malaysian Chinese have a very different ethnographic legacy compared to Hong Kong Chinese; the manifestation of essential identities then becomes a ruler by which people are measured for their authenticity; without taking into consideration hybridity, modernity and the impact of world histories. Recently the Vancouver Sun, a daily newspaper ran series of articles from November 19-22, 2003 titled 'Becoming Canadian, Staying Chinese' which was focused on Chinese youth. This by line appeared before each edition of the series; Youths from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China. They have the same black hair and yellow skin. But they have different social backgrounds, language, ideology and culture. Immigrants from Hong Kong, China and Taiwan have gone through their own unique process of integration into Canadian culture. What emerges are circles within circles in the Chinese community. Chinese . Canadians are the biggest minority group within Greater Vancouver and The Vancouver Sun and Ming Pao will examine how youth from these three places 'integrate, and how separate they are from each other. It's an important issue for the future development of our society. Over the next four days, Ming Pao and The Vancouver Sun will look at how new immigrants and immigrants who have been here longer are dealing with each other and Canadian society. Within this triangular relationship, young people to say tell how they are seeking their own identity (Becoming Canadian, Staying Chinese, 2003). 49 In these articles, Chinese was confined to immigrants from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China. The terms Asian and Chinese were used often used interchangably. Again the term 'Canadian culture' is viewed without any criticality or even defined! A group of friends from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan had this to say about how they are perceived in Canada. "We can agree that people in Canada think everyone who comes from those countries (China, Taiwan and'Hong Kong) think we're all the same" (Becoming Canadian, Staying Chinese, p. B2) My nieces do not identify with the lexicon 'Malaysian', they place Malaysia and Brunei as the geographical nation states where their parents were born. They consider themselves Chinese-Canadians, which causes me some degree of anxiety because I would like for them to understand our family history within a context not bound by mainstream racial categories. The relationship between Chinese and Malaysian does not have the same resonance for them primarily because my siblings and I vary in the place, meaning and role of ethnicity in our own identities. Just as there are unarticulated differences between immigrants, there are unarticulated similarities which result from,the construction of communities through the immigration selection process. In a racialized context where similarities are aligned along racial identities particularities such as values, ethos and beliefs related to class and privilege are minimized or obscured. Race becomes the key to creating communities or imagined communities. Essentialized Identities Newcomers may be confronted with multiple challenges to one's established schema and the need to reestablish community locations. Identities are imposed, ascribed and affirmed through social interactions, bureaucratic governance, dominant hegemony and community expectations (Yeh & Hwang, 2000). There may be a tendency to find a location ! 50 or community to settle, this may be linguistic, geographic, religious, social or ethnic and/or all of the above. It is the expectation of Citizenship and Immigration Canada that newcomers be acculturated within three years, which is the cut off time for government supported access to settlement programs. Newcomers are encouraged by the state to acculturate as quickly as possible but not to deal with emotional and psychological aspects related to shifting identities, relocation and the impact of sociopolitical factors such as racism, lack of employment, family issues and language. In the struggle to become Canadian there are some identities that are more admissible and 'available' than others. With group affiliation and recognition comes the expectations of normative and/or acceptable behaviours. As a Chinese Canadian I am acutely aware that my presence and actions reflect oh'my community at large, just as white Canadians may feel that they are representative of Canada outside our national boundaries. As a part of the dominant majority they do not necessarily have to take on the responsibility of representing any particular group just themselves as individuals. In this instance there is a kind of privilege in how members of the dominant group may choose when and whom they are representing. On a daily basis visible minority Canadians are made conscious of their different levels of belonging and the responsibilities attached to that. This sense of responsibility acts as gatekeeper to behaviours and a guide to values and ethics. There are decisions made to align and associate with specific groups and reject others or perhaps be rejected by others. Association with specific groups is linked with common beliefs and attitudes that may in turn dictate actions. In group affiliation there is a sense that loyalty is exclusive to that group, hybridity and multiple associations without conflict is negotiated (Cornell & Hartmann, 1997). Although it is altogether possible to be Chinese and Canadian and Malaysian Chinese at the same time, the process of negotiating these identities is very complex and dependant on 51 different fields of power. A s newcomers are faced with multiple versions of identity from different fronts, the process of negotiating one's identity is dependant on sociopolitical realities, previous identities and visions of personal future (Cornell & Hartmann, 1997). I developed the skill to speak Cantonese in Canada. When I was younger, l iving in Malaysia and in my first five years in Canada, I shunned Chinese language and anything Chinese in an attempt to escape my ethnicity to fit into dominant European/Canadian society. N o w I try to maintain a cultural integrity that I interpret to be Chinese so that I can fit in. Despite government policy and assimilation, hybridity, acculturation and diverse social forms are created constantly in every space. • Regardless of newcomer status or second, third, fourth generation, many racialized Canadians are often faced with comments like 'Were you born in Canada? Y o u seem very Canadianized.' Or 'Where are you from? Y o u speak English very we l l ' or 'Your parents are i very open minded, they are not traditional.' In a white settler society like Canada where whiteness is assumed as the norm, there is an othering or marginalization of hyphenated Canadians, whereby we are constantly asked to legitimize our entitlement to being Canadian. Being Chinese Canadian or any kind of hyphenated non-white Canadian becomes a contradictory identity. * . > Lillian To and Mason Lee of SUCCESS, one of the largest non-profit organizations in Vancouver that provides services to Chinese Canadians, presented a deposition to the Senate Committee hearing in Vancouver in 2002 on the medical use of marijuana. J was present at these proceedings and was scheduled to speak later in the day. I remember feeling angry and frustrated when they were presenting. Perhaps because it was because their perspective on i 52 marijuana was diametrically opposite to mine but more likely because they were very liberal in their use of terms like; the Chinese Canadian community, we still feel the trauma of the Opium war, in our community, in our tradition, our values, etc. I thought to myself who are THEY? Not literally who are they because Ms. To and Mr. Lee are prominent members in the community, she is the Executive Director and he was a bdard member who had run for political office. But who • were the THEY, WE, US phat they were referring to. At one point there was statistical information available on how many Chinese Canadians were living and working in BC and Canada. I was one of them and they have never once asked me about my views' on medical use of marijuana. When it was my turn to speak I felt compelled to address the homogenizing comments made by To and Lee. After bumbling through a position in support of medical use of marijuana, which I diligently rehearsed the night before knowing that I had five precious minutes, I asked the Committee to consider how communities are represented and ' who purports to speak on behalf of communities. This not only screwed up my much practiced and prepared statement but also placed me in a tenuous position that was unfamiliar ground. I was used to being the outsider in the insider/outsider game but now I had feelings that I had not encountered before, in a very public forum I had in some way contradicted/shamed members of my i community. I felt like I had betrayed them and I was from that point on relegated to outer space. I felt scared at many levels, personally, emotionally and professionally. Since then I have embarked on a safer academic path to theorize how these social relations happen in the real world. I often wonder what is going on for me, has the struggle to make space for myself been too difficult? 53 Imagined communities are also formed along ethnic lines. Community 'leaders' begin to speak for the community at large as though we are homogeneous; in part the communities have developed strategies to consolidate power to participate in the polity. Often it is a conservative voice that emerges from communities that urges the adherence to 'cultural' traditions. Imagined Relations ! As mentioned before, the mythology of Canada and Canadians make invisible the subjugation of First Nations people, the contributions of non-white communities in the legacy of our nation, and the entitlement of British and French to the definition of Canada and Canadian. These narratives contain our experiences of each other and define our relationships. For many immigrant communities there is a lack of appreciation of the forcible and relentless assault on Aboriginal peoples or the realities of Aboriginal peoples that originates from the geopolitical context of colonialization. On the other hand, the complexities of migration and the role of government agencies in the process of perpetuating the master narrative of Canada as generous and magnanimous host country is not shared information. There is a lack of interaction between these communities resulting in an intercultural understanding that is triangulated by dominant discourse. One example is the kind of resentments that emerge at the perception of special privileges given to different ethnic groups. There are virtually no language rights for indigenous peoples, yet there is focus on French and English and the importance of language to maintain cultural integrity. Languages of large ethnic groups are often recognized before the language rights of First Nations such as the controversy surrounding the formation of a Mandarin bilingual elementary school program in Jamieson Elementary School in Vancouver, British Columbia. 54 This issue resonated within First Nations communities as an indication of how immigrant communities are given more status than First Nations communities. Newcomers enter into the communal space already filled with tension. More recently they enter Canada under very different circumstances than previous immigrants, often bypassing interactions with established communities from home regions and creating^  different relationships with the dominant culture (Ong, 2000). This has an impact on the ways in which they become a part of the Canadian landscape. Changes in immigration policy and practice as well as changes in global social, political and economical context circumscribe the characteristics of newcomers. Previous images of immigrants were a view of rural, agrarian, localized, modest male with his family and body ready for hard work in Canada, the new image of immigrants is the cosmopolitan, highly skilled, educated, investor bringing his money and his family to support Canada's economy. There continues to be lack of deep understanding of how racism and discrimination is systematized despite the claims of Multiculturalism. The tolerance and acceptance discourse advocated by Multiculturalism Canada, like many settler societies, implies primarily that the government and the dominant society have the efficacy to set the limits of tolerance and acceptance and to define the discourse. Those without the power do not have the efficacy to participate within the field of power. Containment within Multiculturalism is a strategy for settler governments to supervise and oversee the process of integration (Hage, 2000). Assimilation and Acculturation The need to be empowered, to belong and be included is a part of the process of acceptance by the dominant group or dominant marginal group. That is something that is not always within the ability of the individual looking for acceptance. In order to be accepted there! is an expectation that we conform, understand and replicate group norms. This may 55 mean acquiring dominant values (Bhabha, 1994). Particularities such as racism, homophobia, classism and cultural essentialism which are a part of Canadian as well as other world cultures continue to be reinforced in the drive to become Canadian. Newcomer and racialized communities are enclosed in a paradoxical relationship with the dominant society, successes threaten the existing hierarchy and citizenship, and failures are perceived as drains on resources and Canadian communities. Racial scapegoating and competition for resources often makes invisible the role of racism, class and oppression in our society. The Canadian government is implicated through their immigration and National policy. There is a constant discourse of not only what kinds of immigrants but how many immigrants should be allowed into Canada, where they come from, who they are and if Canada can 'sustain' such high levels of immigration. There is a concern with the 'mix', ratio and numbers which contribute to the formation of racial hierarchies based on formal belonging such as citizenship, critical mass and political and economic engagement. (Hage, 2000). Take the example of a recent issue of McLeans magazine dedicated to the perinnal question of how many, who and where, see next page (Janigan, 2002). The history of voting rights in Canada further illustrate the manner in which legal rights and entitlement based on race have been recognized. In 1947 the BC Provincial Elections Amendment Act gave the franchise to every eligible Canadian except Japanese and Aboriginal peoples. Conversely, Doukhobors, Hutterites, and Mennonites lost their right to vote unless they had served in the armed forces. Nationally, women were given the franchise in 1929, First Nations peoples in 1960 and First Nations women even later still (Department of Justice Canada, 2000). Individuals and communities are in constant negotiations to make space in the national imaginary by articulating social capital, 56 C o v e r IMMIGRANTS HOW MANY IS TOO MANY? W H O SHOULD GET IN? CAN WE TELL THEM WHERE TO LIVE AND WHAT TO DO? BY MARY JANIGAN STELLA RAYMUNDO'S scrapbook opens with her first hesitant approach to the Cana-dian embassy in Manila in 1999. There are meticulous records of their exchanges of letters and forms. It ends with a single pho-tograph of her and her husband and their three children at Winnipeg airport on Oct. 22,2001. It is, she says, "a fulfillment in our life" to be landed immigrants selected by Manitoba. She is still working on the hap-pily-ever-after pan of the tale. And no one should tell you it's easy. In the Philippines, she was a computer hardware teacher. Now she is a customer service rep-resentative at National Money Mart. In the Philippines, her husband Richard, 30, was a computer technician. Now he works on a glove factory assembly line. The rwo are taking English courses. Next year they will upgrade their computer skills. They marvel at Canada's generous social programs. They have bought a van—and they are saving for a house. But sometimes, although Richard has nearby relatives, they get lonely. "We go out then with our kids and try not to re-member everything,'' says Stella, 28. Then she adds: "We are doing OK. We are just trying to make it. step by step." Immigration may be the romanticized ideal of Canada Past. But in the 21st cen-tury, it remains an unsettling, difficult and not always rewarding experience—for die mi-grant, the host country and the sending nation. Around the globe, millions of peo-I pie are on the move—as refugees or scrab-I bling economic migrants or people join-; ing relatives. Or they are highly skilled work-\ ers, pan of an international elite that flits among nations. As the workforce in many industrialized nations begins to shrink, I countries such as Germany, which does not have an open immigration program, are recruiting skilled workers. "Immigrants are I part of maintaining even cunent standards I of living, especially in rapidly aging soci-: eties," says Don Johnston, secretary gen-j eral of the Paris-based Organization for I Economic Co-operation and Development. ' "There is going to be a real fight among nations for the best human capital." I For the sheer size of its intake, Canada is 57 achievements and characteristics to be that to the national norm. Formal recognition of citizenship also creates relative positioning of racialized communities that may also be seen with changes in population and increase in economic and social status relative to other marginalized communities and to the dominant society. Essentialized versions of racialized communities through the media, education and government sources intersect with real experiences in unique and remarkable ways to create an astonishing varied expression of humanity. In the story about my niece, was the presenter white, was he mixed race, who is native and who is Chinese? In a recent study of 'mixed race' women in Canada participants identified 'multiculturalism' as both a location and a barrier to a sense of belonging. The focus of ethnic identities and race within the discourse of multiculturalism was seen to reinforce stereotypes and act as informal gatekeepers to communities, that is to say who belongs, who does not belong and where they belong. The women did not see multiculturalism as an effective location to address racism but they did see inclusive ideology of multiculturalism as an important value. For these women, the process of merging, defining, negotiating, contesting, representing and adopting identities are unequivocally related to how they are raced, classed and gendered in particular spaces (Mahtani, 2002). It is important to discuss how communities are racialized, who has the power to represent them and also how realization is more complex than essential characteristics. The discussions in this chapter provides an opportunity to know more about Canada and to understand the complex social dynamics around us. Unfortunately my niece has, very early in life, learnt the value and role of authority in education and she has acquired appropriate behaviour for students - not toquestion the teacher. 58 C H A P T E R F I V E - R U P T U R E 'Why don 'tyou come to brunch with us,' said Maria, my self-defined half-breed Lebanese Lezzie roommate. Her mother, Sadie, whom I had just met the previous evening, was in town visiting, and wanted to meet Maria's new girlfriend, aka the White Knight. They were planning on going to brunch at Capers in the village of West Vancouver, the last remaining bastion which puts the British in British Columbia. We had spent a good part of last night talking about displacement, memories of Lebanon and the meaning of family, drawing parallels between Sadie's immigrant experience in the 40's to my own experience in the 70's. Whining, I said, 'Well there is a rally in support of same sex marriages and Bill C-250 this morning at the VAG at 10am, like I really want to go! But I feel like I should go, I already told Helen, Mary-Woo and the Monsoonies that I would be there. I am supposed to bring the banner which I cannot even find, crap.' Right wing church organizations were staging a rally to voice their opposition to the governments request that the Supreme Court issue a judgement on same sex marriage AND also to protest Bill C-250 which would include sexual orientation as a basis for inclusion in anti hate crime legislation. The FOR side had quickly organized a counter 'love-in'. 1 'Oh My God! It is such a beautiful day and you want to spend it rallying in the middle of the city, are you crazy, I am soooo over that. You don't even agree with same sex marriage.' True. I am more than a bit • i . 5 9 resentful that the 'Queer' national and regional agenda has been obsessed with this issue, what about poverty, and what about the war in Iraq? To go or not to go, I really do have better, more enjoyable, 'taking care of myself things to do, but if I don't go will I pay for it later? Shallowly subverted liberal catholic guilt never lies benign for long. Like it or not, I decided to go, at least for an hour, shout some chants, socialize with some old friends and ensure that the right people see me there. Then I can, in good conscience come back home and watch the World Indoor Track and Field Competitions broadcast live from Paris, France. 'We 11 drop you off on our way downtown, 'yelled Maria from the bathroom as she primped and preened in mysterious rituals unknown to old skool butches like myself. Thanks. I was dropped off 3 blocks away from the rally site. Up until I closed the car door and watched Maria and her mother drive off towards their civilized date, I was still contemplating a morning with organic free-range eggs on non-GMO whole wheat sourdough toast smothered with lactose free, dairy free cheesy substitutes accompanied by frosted mochachinnos made with fair trade coffee, raw sugar and soya milk. Oh well. As I walked the 3 blocks I could feel changes happening in the air, there were lots of people walking in the same direction as me, towards a common goal, converging at each intersection, building, swelling, breathing individual units creating a moving river of nervous energy and excitement. There were children chattering as adults hustled them along, groups of seniors with their wide brimmed hats and requisite plastic grocery bag with 60 snacks and refreshments, there was almost a festive picnic like atmosphere. There was a police presence, officers who directed myself and others towards the South side of the-Supreme Court House just on the other side of the Art Gallery. When I stopped to ask an officer for directions they impatiently directed me towards the growing throng, when I tried to cross the street they kept barring my way asking me to move with the crowd. Eventually I gave up and moved through the well-organized crowd many of who were carrying professionally printed signs with group numbers (for the purpose of coordinating people) and which read; LIBERAL PARTY KEEP YOUR PROMISE, MAINTAIN FAMILY VALUES. LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE, KEEP CANADA DEMOCRATIC. ADAM AND EVE NOT ADAM AND STEVE. MARRIAGE IS SACRED No one so much as noticed as I walked among them. Under my skin I felt scared, my true self was floating somewhere above my left shoulder watching in awe at the shear numbers of people. Somewhere I was cognisant of the fact that these people actually hated m, and were not willing to accept me as human. At times I would look at a family with young children and consider the possibilities for a meaningful and pleasant social interaction, a smile, recognition that we occupied the same space in this brief second in time and history. As time slowed, I watched each face carefully, they could o 61 be my brother, my mother, my niece, my cousin, and they looked just like me and my family. There were hip young adults, seniors, middle aged folks, from afar I even noticed a women who used to go to the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre when I worked there 4 years ago. They spoke in languages that I could understand, moved around in groups that resembled my own wanderings through space and geography. In fact most of the people protesting against same-sex marriage and Bill C-250 were Chinese, and judging from their use of language they were fairly new immigrants from China and Taiwan. My body was in shock, I was moving and thinking but I felt numb, even though I was watcKing intensely I could not say what I was seeing, the force of what this all meant, the irony, the visceral sensations moved deep into my body to a place that I had left long ago. Eventually, I found 'my people ' the counter Queer supporters in their sequinned outfits, leather harnesses and A&F T-s and Shorts. I stayed for a little while, shouted a few chants, sang a few songs, visited with old warriors, hugged and kissed my way through the crowds. Then I left, a spiritually battered, bruised, disillusioned, sad middle aged activist who has struggled for 20 years for a space for myself and maybe because it felt like the right thing to do. Let me paraphrase my mother, when she asks me why I am not married and why I do not have children. You have nothing to show for your life, all that trouble, for what? 62 Intercultural dynamics In this chapter I discuss ways in which acculturation, resistance and assimilation may interface within and between immigrant, ethnocultural and other marginalized communities. i i In addition I explore the irony and contradictions inherent in racialization and how it is operates simultaneously as a tool to neutralize challenges to the status quo and as a location for resistance. Critical Race Theory (CRT) is the framework I use to look at how communities interact within a racialized discourse managed by government through immigration, multiculturalism, citizenship and heritage policy. Immigration policy and the immigration process have multiple roles in, first, defining what is Canadian, second, playing an integral part to maintaining these constructed identities, third, acting as gatekeeper to preserve the imagined nation and who can become Canadian, and, finally these policies and processes place pressure on those entering Canadian national boundaries to adhere to their prescribed roles based on their particularities of race, gender, sexuality and class A In the story above, white law enforcement personnel who were to direct the crowds just assumed that if I was Chinese, or more generally Asian looking, I would be against same sex marriage, and to a certain degree I was but reasons of my own. I do feel strongly that anti-hate crime legislation should include hate based on sexual orientation, but the real true purpose for my presence at the counter rally was because I knew that there would be a strong contingent of Chinese Canadian Christians. I wanted to ensure that there was some reflection of an alternative 'community' voice and presence. In doing so I made a decision to make my voice heard in support for a cause that I did not particularly feel strongly about, same sex marriage. It was a strange and awkward situation to be in, throughout the day I went through a range of emotions. Initially1! felt a certain amount of comfort, whether it be with the for or 63 against side. Then I felt anger at the speeches that focused on 'family, traditional, Christian and Canadian values. Finally, I was completely exhausted by the dualism and the contradiction of the day, for/against, good/bad and right/wrong. It created a sense that I was stuck between two worlds; I desired to belong to both but was unable to be accepted nor to reconcile my internal conflicts. "Didyou hear that mum is a star? " yelled my sister as I barely crossed the ' treshold of her home, where I often went if I needed comforting and feeding. ! "The cashier at Top Ten recognized her, from tv and complimented her on how natural she looked. Mum wants to see the video. " That was impossible, my mum has had permed hair since she was a teenager, she is now in her seventies, her hair is anything but natural. Top Ten was the local produce store that my mum went to every other day to ensure that family got fresh veggies at every meal. Two months ago my mum and I had agreed to be interviewed by a local videographer making a documentary on Gays and Lesbians and their parents. After months of outreach'and research the videographer could not find 'ethnic' families to be involved, finally she came to me asking if I knew of anyone. Just by chance I asked my mum, ok, maybe I told her we were going to be interviewed. I forwarded her the questions to be asked on the interview that were sent to me by the director. The were; ] How did you feel when your daughter/son came out to you? What are some of your feelings around their lifestyle? Blah, blah, blah i * 64 "Why do they want to ask me these questions? I don't know, lah. What do they mean? I don't remember. So troublesome," was my mother's response. In general we did not take the whole thing very seriously, it was another one of my projects that I was dragging my family into. Shooting day for the interview came and went, we had forgotten all about it until my mum started being recognized all over the place, friends and relatives called to congratulate her and even the receptionist at the chiropractors office mentioned it. She seemed quite pleased at the attention and congratulatory nature of the comments. "Aren 'tyou nervous about the relatives seeing the show? " I asked concerned that my highly religious Catholic extended family would somehow shun her. " Well, what to do. If they don't call me it means they didn't see-lah or maybe they saw but don't dare say-lah. Maybe they don't like what they see, either way just don't talk about it-Tah, unless they bring it up. I just hope my priest didn't see it. " This is just one of many ways in which I try to open discussions around sex and sexuality in my communities, it has not always been positive. Two years ago I reluctantly appeared oh a Cantonese radio open line show to talk about the issues of homosexuality, I am not skilled enough to speak of complex issues in Cantonese. Too bad it wasn't a show titled "Banal conversations on food, the weather and transportation ", I would have managed just fine. Oh well, not to worry, there was a translator to assist me. I'm just glad there wasn't a live audience. It was shocking and scary. There were calls that question my authenticity as a Chinese person, I was accused of being corrupted by Canadian 65 ways and of shaming my family and RACE, people said that I was selfish, misguided and evil. Even though I could only understand every 5 words, I could feel the hatred in the voice. From the expressions of the host, technicians and director I sensed that the translator was kindly protecting me from intimate details of the caller's comments. In both stories it was clear that my sexuality and ethnicity were incompatible notions that could not be readily reconciled either by myself or by some community members. My values, belonging and identities were questioned and judged inadmissible to the fraternity of Chinese. And to some I could not possibly be Queer because I was Asian looking. Essentialized identities presuppose commonality of experience and history that may not exist. Within these constructs are anticipated modes of intercultural dynamics that are not easily resolved when interfaced with the unexpected or unimagined. Multicultural policy and modalities contribute to sustaining essential community particularities. Although the term 'Canadian' provides a kind light skinned homogeneous location, individuals that make up Canadian are seen as unique with identities and values outside the homogeneous location. Racialized and marginalized communities on the other hand are homogenized and are expected to present common ideological and cultural fronts. Individuals from these communities not meeting the expected front are, at best, labeled anomalies or rendered invisible. Multiculturalism: Not Quite White or Right The merits and shortcomings of multicultural policy continue to be rigorously debated since Pierre Trudeau introduced the policy into the House of Commons in 1971, despite the policy's objectives to: 66 1) Combat racism and discrimination - encouraging Canadians to be involved in finding positive ways to stop racial discrimination; 2) Making Canadian institutions more reflective of Canadian diversity; 3) Promote shared citizenship; and 4) Promote cross-cultural understanding. (Kymlicka, 1998, p. 15) Some critics argue that Wilticulturalism has become a condition for racialized communities regardless of how long they have been here. That is to say, Multiculturalism has become an issue primarily for ethnically marginalized communities, specifically immigrant communities. They are excluded from participating as equals in matters of the nation, but rather limited to matters concerning diversity (Hage, 2000). Racialized communities are particularly vulnerable to 'othering' as immigrants because of the exclusion to white settler and other dominant identities. They are also limited by the racialized construction of 'other' that reinforces cultural boundaries that translate into political boundaries (Papastergiadis, 2000). Ethnocultural communities are objectified under this national policy, they become the objects to be integrated into the Canadian diaspora. White immigrants are able to be integrated into our nation, while 'of colour' immigrants, regardless of how long they have settled, and First Nations, are kept as outsiders. Consequently racialized Canadians perceive, experience and judge each other differently. Within immigration discourse, immigrants are seen as problems at multiple levels. Different immigration categories construct dualities of'good' immigrants - those who make economic contributions and 'not-so good' immigrants, those who fall under the family class and who are seen as entering Canada not on their merits and as potential contributors to Canada but because of their connections. Refugees belong to a completely different category that is deemed deserving of Canadian generosity and protection. Due to the racialized history and 67 mechanics of racialized public policy, immigrants who are visible minorities perceive, engage, and experience Canada polity through different arrangements (Thobani, 2000). In attempts to meet the expectations of the host country to contribute and acculturate, competition emerges among immigrant communities for limited resources, recognition, political agency, a spot in the Canadian mosaic and the chance to be aggrandized as the model minority. On the other hand there are within these spaces opportunities for resistance, for example; Aboriginal Self-government, Japanese Redress movement, Chinese Head Tax movement and Refugee Rainbow Coalition. ! Multiculturalism as a government policy and sociopolitical ideology has often been used in defense of Canada as a'racism free country but racialization continues to circumscribe Canadian national psyche and the administration of national activities. The denial of these processes and the expectation of homogeneity among communities do not prepare us to deal with authentic diversity of experience, philosophies, values and ideas that emerge from our 'communities' (Amit & Rapport, 2002). There is an expectation and perception that racialized communities act as homogeneous entities. Intercultural conflicts become hard to manage because of assumed homogeneity and the expectation of solidarity and commonality: Systemic differences such as class, gender, sexuality and religion are masked. In some cases individuals from marginalized communities who share dominant views with the status quo are held up as representatives of the communities, 'We are not so different after all, we want the best for Canada'. Racialization is used by community 'leadership' to push their own desired or imagined community location and values, 'We have unique traditions and cultures that have to be respected.' These positions, reflected in the story in the previous chapter about Ms. To and Mr. Mason, are not open to criticality or modernity because of the apparent sacredness of culture, race, ethnicity and tradition. In the 68 case of the radio interview, ethnicity and cultural values are used to excuse homophobia and to justify homophobia as a cultural value despite historical examples of same sex eroticism across cultures. Members from marginalized communities can be more rigorous in policing the behaviors and actions of other 'community' members lest they embarrass or shame the community at large. Within Canadian history there is a pattern of racialized political agency seen in the Anglo-Franco struggle. This can be seen throughout history from the 1600s and 1700s when both Britain and France were struggling to advance settlement and administration of Canada, for example, the expulsion of all Francophone Acadians from Nova Scotia by the Scottish to the Separatist movement in th'e early 1960s to the present. When racialized communities, however, use established strategies, such as,political party membership, to gain political power they are seen as a threat to national interest and they are seen as self serving and responding to self-interest. (See the letter to the National Post on page 68) The inconsistency of Canadian liberal democratic traditions view whiteness as the norm, t whiteness is seen as serving 'Canadian' interest while 'other' is seen as serving 'special interest'. In 2002, Dr. Rey D. Pagtakhan was named Minister responsible for Veterans Affairs, immediately there was commentary questioning his suitability for the post considering his Asiatic characteristics. In particular the Honorable Roy H. Bailey, a Member of Parliament from Saskatoon, made comments in regards to Dr.Pagtakhan's race, questioning his ability to fufil that portfolio because of his ethnicity (Asiatic, 2002). For Honorable Bailey, in this context, it seems that immigrants of colour can never embody Canadianness and will always| be relegated to the hyphenated Canadian, their terms of engagement limited only to matters concerning 'their' communities which are also determined by dominant views. 69 Dilemma of Democracies i Democracy is a concept and philosophy that has multiple definitions and operationalities. Newcomers who engage with the Canadian democratic process bring various interpretations and experiences with them and will participate according to those views. In the first story of this chapter, many of the proponents against same sex marriage were« demanding that the government follow democratic principles and abide by the voice of the majority. It is ironic that the predominant Chinese-Canadian protestors did not correlate their call for a particular democratic value with the popular resistance to enfranchisement of non-white Canadians in the 1900s. Chinese-Canadians would never have gotten the vote in 1947 if decisions were based on populist democracy. It is precisely legislative challenges such as Bill C-250 and government initiated draft legislation on same-sex marriage, that demand that the government recognize ways in which they are operating in contradiction to other principles such as equality and individual rights. ! There is a paradox in racialization and political engagement that does not interrogate the ways in which immigration policy creates racial and ethnic communities within Canada. Forming Canada's ethnoracial identities has been an ongoing focus of the Canadian immigration policy through entry restrictions based on race, gender, class, mental capacity and other particulars (Comeaii*& Allahar, 2001). Social issues such as perceptions of assimilability and market driven economics like the preference for entrepreneurial class immigrants are just some contemporary forces creating the rubric by which immigrants are selected as part of a continuing nation building exercise. A study by Jean-Pierre Beaud and Jean-Guy Prevost in 1996 indicated that statistical information collected in regards to race and origin was used to evaluate assimilation of non-Anglo or non-French immigrants. 70 'Scientific', biological and social science data based on eugenics were tools designed to formulate and predict how different groups would assimilate into Canadian society. This was an integral part of nation building during the interwar years when Anglo Saxon immigration was swiftly declining (Beaud & Prevost, 1996). There was rigorous discussion on the type, quality and quantity of immigrants and issues of desirable and undesirable source countries to create a hierarchical taxonomy for accepting immigrants. The objective was to create, as much as possible, a homogenous Canadian culture, with the expectation that within 3 generations or 100 years, these*new immigrants would be virtually indistinguishable from Anglo Canadians. Immigration policy continues to build and construct communities that reflect the expectations, demands and imaginations of the dominant society. The issues become more complicated when racialized immigrants cannot assimilate or are excluded from Anglo Canadian culture and communities. Making Same-Same Although in contemporary Canadian policy, the legacy of homogenization in Canada remains, cultural diversity is recognized at a superficial level without appreciation for 'homogenizing' factors in immigration policy outside the discourse of cultural diversity but within the containment of class. As mentioned before there are separations into 'good' immigrants and 'bad' immigrants. Within a perceived colour-blind point system there are certain aspects which continue to privilege a particular type of applicant, for example, the language requirement. Unless the applicant is from France, a French or English speaking person from Africa, the West Indies or Asia would certainly be a product of colonialism and/or educated within a colonial context. Other assumptions include categories like family class that presupposes a nuclear family and patriarchal infrastructure. This also applies to age and gender. Canadian policy continues to depend on homogenizing factors to create our 71 imagined nation within narrow criteria dependant on heteronormative, gender-biased capital market driven values. If we as a nation were serious about building a civil society we should be giving points for people's engagement in community and civic duties, rather than privileging economic participation. The assumption that economic immigrants are better for Canada presupposes that immigrants coming with capital and skills will be more committed to the Nation, or perhaps the immigrant's role is not in creating the Nation, but paying for it. The application process contributes to national coffers and there are expectations that new immigrants bring capital investments as well as established global market networks that will benefit the receiving countries economic future (Ong, 2 0 0 0 ) . On the one hand in an;intercultural setting differences within and between ethnocultural communities may be interpreted as conflicts and therefore problematic. On the other hand challenges from those communities to the status quo are often discounted because they are seen to represent 'spedial interest'. Racialized communities are seen to have homogeneous voices, values arid attitudes. Individuals and groups within these communities, that resist the status quo are doubly marginalized. They are labeled as outsiders within and without their own communities and their voices and opinion deligitimized. Representation ! These contradictions iripolicy are manifested in divergent and unexpected ways in individual and communal experience. As mentioned before, racialization essentializes communities and creates a phenomenon whereby communities are forced, encouraged and/or feel the need to create solidarity based on external forces. These communities adopt and adhere to their own perceptions of cultural practices, values and social mores. In some cases they may be positioned as more 'traditional' compared with emerging modernity in their countries of origin. This positioning is reinforced by the view that traditional culture steps 72 into a vacuum upon landing in Canada. These various pressures contribute to the emergence of leaders from marginalized communities becoming more conservative as a result in their interface with assimilation, marginalization, racialization and the desire to become players in the political arena. Assimilation through acquisition of mainstream values and the adoption of mainstream views has effects in two ways: in relations with the larger Canadian society, as well as internally within racialized communities. Holding on to cultural values that are misogynist, classist and generally oppressive also acts as a form of resistance to assimilation and marginalization. This may also play out in ways communities are categorized through racialization. For example using a mask of cultural values or religious beliefs as a foil against equal rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (lgbt), a strategy used by some Asian communities opposing equal rights for lgbt communities. On the other hand gays and lesbians, individuals and communities have spent considerable resources advocating for the right to get married and to be included under the institution of marriage. One could argue that the privileges accorded to marriage, as a state sponsored hegemonic value, is questionable. Marriage laws in Canada provide privileges and rights to a particular kind of relationship that is entrenched in domains such as patriarchy, property ownership and religion. For me same sex marriage laws are not about equality from a social justice perspective but about homogenizing, neutralizing and containing queerness. Cultural Containment Notions of multiculturalism and cultural diversity that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s are viewed by some critical race theorists as the new lexicon for the racialization and the post-second, war seal of liberal democratic racism (Balibar & Wallerstein, 1991). Multiculturalism has become 'new school' for managing demands for authentic social change that requires more than reform but radical shifts in acknowledging a racialized past and ' 7 3 creating a future that reflects social justice values. 'Multicultural' understanding of cultural and social diversity act to contain and prescribe racialized communities, these communities are juxtaposed with notions of 'Canadian', Canada and Canadian categories viewed as homogeneous, sharing common values and ethics. In the past three decades, as immigration trends have altered such that immigrants from European countries are the minority, discourse around immigration more frequently consists of concerns about threats and challenges to national interest (Thobani, 2000). The economic/class locations of immigrants are changing. More often than not they are highly educated, middle class and heterosexual with a sense of their own entitlements. Immigration hegemony has changed accordingly as global economic and power structures have shifted. China and Japan often referred to as the 'Asian Dragons' and the 'Asian Tigers' made up of nation states such as Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan with increased political and economic power have become players in the global stage. This alters the dynamics of newcomers from this region. There is potential to influence Canadian identity and policy through their economic power and other modalities outside of established community networks. Within the discourse rjf immigration, newcomers and existing racialized communities continue to be seen as entities about which Canadians need to be mindful of. Not only do theses newcomers bring their cultural values they bring economic and political power that can change 'Canadian lifestyles'. They can be seen as purveyors of disease, crime and a drain on Canadian resources. Take for example the policy for mandatory HIV and AIDS testing for all new Canadian immigrants that presupposes that newcomers are a risk and burden to existing population. Regardless, the terrain of immigration discourse is increasingly complex and multidimensional. 74 Internationally, migration trends are shifting. Increasingly more and more migrants depend on multiple sites for familial, community, social and political activities. (Timur, 2000). This creates emerging transnational issues that include the intersection of multiple national borders and multi-citizenship. Canadian immigration policy that privileges independent immigrants, in particular those belonging to the entrepreneur class, may have unforeseen consequences. Issues such as dual citizenship and mobility which prioritizes capital, satellite families, capital-based cultural capacity and other migration outcomes challenge existing Canadian ideology and assumptions on immigration. More recently I have met expatriates from all over the world who have immigrated a number of times. Take the case of Paul, born in Poland who immigrated in the 1970s to Australia then moved to Canada in 1995 and is now talking abput immigrating to the United States, primarily because of the economic climate and overly high levels of taxation in Canada. The success of Canadian policy frameworks to balance ethnic diversity while promoting social integration and meeting the challenges of migration is vigorously debated. It is also questionable if the continued mythology of Canada has been effective in "fostering and strengthening connections among Canadians and deepening understanding across diverse communities" (Canadian Heritage, 2003). There is no doubt that national policy and governance have and continue to have a strong influence on promoting social, political and cultural membership for all Canadians as well as mediating relationships between and among Canadians. If the government is serious about dealing with positive synergy and citizenship between minorities, majorities, settlers, aboriginals and immigrants we should reconsider historical and future coding of racial boundaries and containment. One strategy is to better understand how aspects of acculturation, resistance and assimilation affect social relations and the impact of systemic divisions of race, class, gender and sexuality on individuals and groups. 75 C H A P T E R SIX: REFRAMING T H E C O N T E X T I felt so smart in my uniform, my white short sleeved shirt had just this morning been laundered by Ah Keen, our servant. It felt cool and brisk against my body as I carefully put it on that morning, watchful as not to prematurely crease the fine cotton. My navy blue pleated pinafore had been ironed just so with the pleat like a knife-edge and what luck, I actually found the good belt to wear with my outfit. Today was special, in the afternoon our class was going to . go for an assembly in the senior school. This meant that if I was careful and strategic, I could possibly, maybe, walk with Sharon or Vicky. They were the prettiest, smartest and most popular girls in my standard 4 class and I wanted desperately to be close to them. I was so hoping that we would be able to hold hands as we paraded two by two down the hall. They were so pretty and their hair was practically blond or at least lighter than mine, and their fair skin dotted with freckles, so cute-lah.. We started organizing ourselves in class after the mid day recess, I was • very excited as I hovered close to the popular girls waiting to be paired up. As I nervously shuffled about one of the girls turned and looked at me directly asking, "Aren'tyou the one with the dog?" Nod, nod, nod, nod, nod. "It'syour best friend, right? " Yup, yup, yup, yup, yup. As she resumed her conversation I notice them looking over and eyeing me from top to bottom, breaking out in giggles and mumbles. Once the moment passed I look down at myself at my not so white canvas shoes were dusty and stained with a small frayed spot developing on the bump where my big toe was. My socks hung limply and unevenly over my ' ankles below mud stained legs caked with dust and perspiration. On my left knee 76 was an abrasion that matched one on the palm of my hand. My well-appointed uniform was a mess. It was dirty and creased with bits of fried noodle from my lunch clinging persistently to the fabric. Oh, all my good intentions have failed, my rigorous and tomboyish rough housing through the morning had ruined , everything. < The teacher nun assembled us while I was frantically trying to brush the little worms from my skirt, doing more to embed the starchy substance into the weave of the fabric than anything. Of course the smart, pretty girls had long left the class room, preferring to be at the front of the line. Meanwhile, a dark skinned Indian girl named Sumatra took my hand and pulled me towards the formation of perfect little convent schoolgirls. "You lezzie!" I snapped as I pulled my hand away. '• "What did you say? Whqt is a lezzie?" I did not respond, after all I did not know what it meant or where I had heard it. After some persistence and no results, Sumatra went up to one of the nuns. Sister immediately marched up to me with the heels of her sensible black ; shoes violently clicking on the tile floor and her nun garb ballooning around her. She grabbed my hand and pulled me towards her and yelled. " What did you call her? " Not waiting for me to answer, she continued, "Do you know what that means? " Again not waiting, she slapped me across my 'face, twice. '«' Oh, dear another day spent at the principal's office. As I was dragged to the office I could see the pretty girls looking on with shock and horror. 11 Starting Young , As a child there was already a well established hierarchy of desirability in my schema, light skinned girls were the most popular in my school. Girls who were of Eurasian ancestry were most desirable, dark skinned Indian girls like Sumatra were considered less attractive as schoolgirl companions. This story is also about my early experiences with the fluidity of identity, attempts to belong and the need to create appropriate associations that would ultimately define me as a part of a larger community. This community had to have a certain social capital. In my worldview, ethnicity and class were the most valuable assets. The closer to European owning class, the more valuable the association. After I immigrated to Canada, identity and belonging continued to circumscribe and define my activities. As a teenager I was relentless in berating my family for our immigrant idiosyncrasies. Culturally and familial embedded values and habits, mannerisms and general 'Low ways' were sources of great discontent which was usually directed at my family. I spent many years ashamed of them, angry and bitter, resentful that I belonged to this tribe, so much so that I would •I sometimes create alternative life histories that I would share with strangers. My identity and sense of belonging was contained within a relativist field that located my identities in relation to other dominant and marginalized identities, which had dimensions of sobial and political power. ;ft was a comparative location wrought with antagonism, competitiveness and ambition. Although these were also sites for solidarity, cohesion, contentment and resistance, it took years of critical reflection to understand how systematic oppression worked in my personal life and affected my relationships, perceptions and interactions with individuals from marginalized communities. These are the experiences and foundations that motivate, inspire and influence me, first of all to define myself as an adult educator and also to guide my practice. Racialization has provided a nexus to look at 78 different ways in which people are constructed and contained within distinct contexts and how individuals and groups interrelate. In my late teens and early twenties I was involved in organized sport and visual arts. Throughout my high school years I played every sport possible or spent all my free time in the pottery studio. In the gym and studio I could lose ^ ' time. I did not have to think of the ways in which I did not fit, feel the desperation of wanting to fit or the burden of my family, instead I could focus my energies and thoughts into the creation of solid tangible forms. Through sports I met a group of older women who played basketball and we socialized together. I cannot say that I have ever felt comfortable in my skin or completely at ease in the company of others, but with this group of women it felt different, easier. I did not feel like a misfit or that I was somehow playing a part in some play in which I was the only one without a script. We all did not have a script and Ifelt like I could manage. ;' Later on I found Out that most of the women were lesbian. Oh my god, I was so thrilled. I now had a name to put to my sense of disconnection from the world. Sexuality, or more accurately sex, was not really that important it was a matter offinding some tangible way to name what I had been experiencing for years, since my first kiss with a girl at 6. Coming face to face with the shadowy selves that have been skirting the edges of my consciousness was what I imagined freedom to be. Early in my career as a lesbian I was single minded in my enthusiasm and pursuit for 'community'. At one point Sue, an Asian woman approached me and 79 asked me if I was interested in meeting with a group of lesbians of colour to talk and socialize. In an arrogant and dismissive manner I rejected her invitation by going on about something or other about the solidarity of humanity, that race did not matter, we need to cdme together to fight against the yoke ofpatriarchal heterosexism blah, blah, blah, not create divisions in the sisterhood, blah, blah, blah. Over time, after countless, rejections from the gay and lesbian 'community', feminist encounters, unlearning racism workshops, and acts of organizing - Race does matter. Sue continues to be a valued friend and mentor. Class matters. Every Wednesday for over a year I would bring a dish, homemade or prepackaged to the basement suite of a non-descript East Vancouver house to meet with Diane and Sylvia. There we would have conversations about our work, lives, feelings and experiences. Geographically, ethnically, racially, economically, historically, politically and socially, we had been separated only to come together in this one place with only the desire for each others company. At times my internal body would be pushing out against my skin looking for ways to justify my privilege in that room. I encountered '•i reflections of myself thdt I did not want to see and versions of history I did not want to acknowledge. There were consequences to my actions that I did not want to admit and ownership of a legacy that I did not want to claim. It was pieces of their stories that made me a little more complete. At times, a lot of times, I would ' be defensive, defiant and resentful. Often I would feel guilty and on those occasions my ears would burn and my mouth fill with buts. "But, I experience racism too. " "But, the situation is sexist. " 80 "But, it is so difficult to tie a lesbian. " 1 "But,... " It was easier for me to remain in a place where I was the oppressed and wronged as an immigrant lesbian of colour. Facing the realities of the political, historical and economical trajectories that brought us together and kept us apart was much more difficult. I was and still am a middle class Chinese lesbian with a distinct set of privileges that I try very hard to underestimate and mask, still. The View from Here ' In the previous chapters I touch on the complex matrices between racialization in ! . Canadian Immigration, Multicultural Policy, Nation building and social relations between and among marginalized communities, be they communities bound by geography, economics, ethnicity, language, gender, sexual orientation or religion. I would like to return to my research questions to summarize my points. 1) H o w does the state shape the way people think of themselves and their location? • Nation building, imaginings of our national character, and selective framing of history through the eyes of white settlers is the framework used by the state to project the notion of Canada and Canadian; i Communities in Canada are constructed through Immigration Policy and practice to meet the objectives and perceptions o f Canada as imagined by our white settler society; • Government policies like the Immigration Act and the Multicultural Act reinforce a particular racialized history, the place for pluralism, the purpose of racialized citizens and • i • the role of diversity in our imagined nation; 81 This is operationalized by bureaucrats throughout our government agencies such as the Ministry of Heritage, Canadian Immigration and Citizenship Department of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Industry and Trade; The immigration message: is dynamic and multifaceted depending on the perspective and context of the immigrant, often they are made to consider their acceptance as a future 1 f Canadians privilege bequeathed by the Canadian government; Participation and contributions of racialized individuals and communities are limited in national debates and discourse through various means; Racial fields of power (racial ordering) are created by different policies support triangulated relationships between, among, and within communities. How do people transform and appropriate official representation of nation, community and identity? Through assimilation, acculturation, association, resistance and hybridization, individuals and groups interpret, negotiate and assert their place in established hierarchies and imposed essentialized identities; They are also in the position to challenge and effect changes to social, political and economic relations through these same processes; They also bring into play multiple readings and interpretations into Canadian patterns of governance and social norms. How do the ways in which local cultures are configured, constructed and portrayed . affect individual and group dynamics? Representations of communities by the dominant culture through media and government ideology is part of an evolving process whereby individuals build on a sense belonging, 82 self-evaluation (negative and positive), self and group inscription, group affiliation and preferences, group knowledge, group interest and group associated involvement. These same processes also influence how individuals and group perceive other individuals and groups. Social relations are rooted in representations, histories, events, and relationships that are real (personal experience and contextual), imagined, and constructed. Fusion and Confusion As a young immigrant I believed in the colour-blind promise of Canadian Multiculturalism - that race did not matter. I believed that in Canada I could be accepted 1 regardless of my ethnicity. The struggle to belong I ascribed to my family and ethnic particularities, not to presence of systemic racialization that ascribe our roles in Malaysia or the denial of racism inherent in the Canadian experience. In this chapter I will take the time to consider why it is important to unpack the social relations in the margins. Included are discussions on how newcomers accept certain conditions and learn to integrate into Canadian ways under the constant denial of racializaton and unfufiled promise of equality and opportunity. Ethnicity and race is a location for collective unification and mobilization in a national and international context. Peaceful and violent conflicts, wars, solidarity movements and emancipation are just some of the consequences that are influenced by ethnicity. It is necessary to examine the complicated and complex systems of social relations between diverse communities to address, analyze, understand and contextualize our local and 'global' condition. As nation;states like Canada become more pluralistic, the ubiquity of globalization and shifting migration trends require a disarticulation of essential identities and exclusionary concepts on race. This is necessary in order to develop a more complex understanding of social relations, particularly for those groups on the margins of dominant 83 'white settler' Canadian society. The Canadian who is South Asian who is a single mom from Trinidad living in Halifax has a very different relationship with a young Aboriginal boy who is non-status who speaks Haida studying in Saskatoon, BC. This is a different dynamic between the Quebecoise from Charlevoix who is a lesbian living on Galiano Island and the man working at Fletchers Meats living in Winnipeg whose grandparents came from the Ukraine. My identity as a queer Chinese Canadian from Malaysia set very specific contextual arrangements which constitutes the manner in which I connect with different peoples and groups, whose complex and shifting paradigms are also mobilized. These are not just social or interpersonal situations but political, economical, cultural and national conditions. In Mememorial In the past month I have been thinking of a recent tragedy that happened in Vancouver. A young immigrant Filipino boy was beaten to death by a group of Indo-Canadian young men. 17-year-old Filipino student beaten to death on his high-school field by group of Indo-Canadian teens Mao Jomar Lanot fled for the safety of his high-school sports field, a pack of teens in angry pursuit. Less than two hours later, doctors at Vancouver General Hospital would pronounce him dead. He was 17 years old. Jomar was set upon and severely beaten on the sports field of the east side's Sir Charles Tupper Secondary School late Friday night after a taunting match of racial slurs between two groups of teens. (Bermingham, 2003, p. A4) 84 Spokespersons from the Indo-Canadian community were quick to define the issue as a failure in parenting by parents who were not vigilant in spending more time with their children, knowing what they are involved in and the need for more parental involvement. Filipino communities that have, been trying to draw attention to the problems of violence and harassment facing the youth of their communities continued to articulate the seriousness of ethnic targeting, particularly in schools. Press releases from the School, the Vancouver School Board and the Vancouver Police Department stressed that the incident was not racially motivated. Questions' of race and ethnicity were cautiously used and generally avoided. There appeared to be a lack of capacity to deal with the social conflicts between marginalized groups that were reflected in this tragedy. In this complex and deplorable situation of violence in youth culture and the collective denial of maleness and ethnicity underscores the complicated and perplexing mechanisms of social conflict and the possibilities for resolution. Everywhere in our local and global culture violence is ever present and socially accepted as entertainment and recreation. It is also a recognizable form to exert and negotiate identity and belonging - regionally, nationally and internationally. Most recognizable and forceful would be civil wars and other forms of armed conflicts. Within a racialized and engendered Canadian context how can an incident like this not have racial underpinnings? There has been limited analysis of the deeply constructed racist roots of social conflict however. Identifying an incident as 'racially motivated' is not without consequences. The public naming of race as a root problem does not challenge the colonial and imperial role in constructing racial hierarchies. Nor does it speak to the complexity of individual agency in acts of violence. Avoidance of defining this incident as racialized is understandable because it may be used to legitimize dominant social concerns about 'bad' immigrants. 85 " There is no doubt in my mind that this notion is ever present, -look again at the letter that was written to the Vancouver Courier (see page 36). Rarely is mentioned the role of anti-social behaviours of 'real' Canadians, white men who torture and kill prostitutes, gangs of white men (Hells Angels) in organized crime, white men in suits who defraud thousands of share holders or Canadian men in police uniforms who assault and harass citizens. It is my opinion that our society is unprepared to deal with social relations between marginalized communities, which makes it all the more necessary to interrogate these spaces. At another level this tragedy underscores the mythology of immigration and Canada as a safe place. Ideology about immigration as a strategy to better one's life cannot begin to speak to the kinds of emotions and feelings that Mr. Lanot's family, his brother and mother who immigrated a year ago, must be experiencing. What were their expectations when they came to Canada? How will they handle the sense of guilt and regret that may accompany such grief? • • i • Knowing and Being Known Intercultural dynamics between and within marginalized communities should be viewed through multiple lenses that include a critical analysis of history and government policy. Relationships are mediated and negotiated through complex interconnections that are not apparent and often masked through government ideology and practice. As illustrated, imagined and recontextualized Canadian history of racialization continues to inform and guide our development as a settler society regardless of how we may deny or frame the practice of racialization. In this new era of global interconnectivity and focus on capital agency, there is an urgent need to reimagine a nation that consigns a sense of place and participation to all its citizens. 86 The discourse of multiculturalism continues to circumscribe borders around who is quintessentially Canadian and who is a hyphenated Canadian. The practice of racialization is an insidious part of our lives that must be made apparent. The act of deconstructing national and multicultural imagery may be a vehicle for developing a new kind of nationalism. The habit of racializing and containing individuals and communities may be counter productive to the objectives of engaged citizenship. The goal of the classical nation-state project to align social habits, culture, attachment and political participation is being unraveled by modern communications and nomadism. Passports have become less about citizenship or claims of loyalty than of claims to participate in labour markets. (Anderson, 1998, p. 324) Racialization and relationships between and among marginalized populations are so important because newcomers enter with their own histories, experiences and objectives. We come with imagined particularities about Canada and the practice of democracy that affect and effect existing social relations. Government policy acts to mediate information about different communities within an idealized Canadian context. This contributes to the construction of the matrix that structures our social relations. It is important to make this politicized racialization process visible and at the same time to resist racialization to better accommodate national identities and belonging. r Mythologies of Canadian Multiculturalism Developing coping strategies is one way in which the dominant meaning of Canadian is reinforced and integrated and is a site where social relations of those on the margins are 87 constituted. It is imperative that the 'distasteful, shameful and always heart-breaking injustices in Canadian history* ,are revealed for what they are and that the role that discrimination continues to play in the building of our nation is identified. 'Distasteful, shameful and always heart-breaking injustices in Canadian history.' (Multiculturalism.. .being Canadian, 1987, p.5) is the official commentary on generations of genocide, racism and violence to Aboriginal peoples and people of colour, this quote was taken out of a magazine format booklet, which was produced by the Department of the Secretary of State of Canada in 1987. This 30-page booklet, 60 pages including the French version, contains a total of two sentences that referred to, if somewhat obliquely, the history of racism and discrimination in Canada. Most of the document, which was produced as a part of the media/information ^ campaign to introduce the Canadian Multicultural policy in 1987, outlined Canadian values of 'equality of opportunity; diversity of cultures, experience and skills; and a strong supportive sense of community.' (Multiculturalism.. .being Canadian, 1987, p.3, 10, 11, 19 & 27). Canadian mythology of equality, fairness and opportunity perpetuated by the Canadian i , government, society and dominant ideologies makes invisible barriers created by racialization, class, gender, sexuality and ethnicity. It denies the existence of systemic structures, which may act to limit individual and group ability to realize their potential. In some cases the individual, their families and their communities may internalize the sense of failure. For example, under the immigration point system English or French speaking, skilled and educated, single or married (with or without children), couples under the age of 45 with a minimum of 3-4 years experience in their profession (listed as one of the professions 'desired' in the Canadian economy) have a strong chance of being accepted as immigrants. It is most likely that when they arrive in Canada they will not be able to find 88 employment in their profession because they lack 'Canadian' experience or have to go through considerable expense, time and effort to recertify, retrain or reeducate themselves for the Canadian marketplace. The cost of relocating to another country in another continent may be prohibitive. New immigrants are often eager to reestablish themselves through engagement in the work force. Physiotherapist, senior level administrators, nurses and professors find themselves working in service industries as taxi drivers, data processors, sales people, janitors and cleaners. This kind of deskilling is a boon to the Canadian economy because we have educated and appropriately socialized low level, low paid labourers. There are however social costs to individuals, their families and their communities. The mythology places the blame squarely on the individual immigrants inability to make use of the "equality of opportunity; diversity of cultures, experience and skills; and a strong supportive sense of community" available here in Canada. Rarely is it acknowledged that within Canada are government sanctioned and socially ingrained, racist, oppressive and inequitable systems including racial hierarchies that make it very challenging for many new comers who face multiple barriers. These kinds of stresses have great impact on the social relations among and between marginalized communities. Articulating the realities and existence of inequalities is a step in the right direction. Engaged Citizenship Social relations within pluralistic nations like Canada have been and are becoming more elaborate and heterogeneous. Intercultural dynamics between and within marginalized communities exist under conditions of pluralism, cultural diversity and the influence of cultural essentializing processes. Claims of citizenship, nationhood and political cohesion interface with claims of cultural identity, as well as with individual and group rights in differing levels of harmonizing as well as conflicting ways. Ironically, the more culturally i • i i 89 and racially diverse a society, the greater the need for unity, solidarity, cohesion and understanding among the members of the society in order to go about the business of democratic governance. The construction of this issue is framed as a balancing act between the need for national common culture and pluralism (May, 1999). In order for our Canadian society to adapt to demographic shifts, a better understanding of the interactions between communities beyond the dominant/minority rubric is required. Continued racialization and dualities of East and West, North and South, male and female, citizen and non-citizen, unity and diversity, white and black are positionalities that have never effectively described the complexities of social relations. As diverse populations grow there is a need to scrutinize spaces outside the dominant/subordinate relationship and to interrogate relationships between marginalized groups developing a new lexicon for intergroup praxis that is not dependant on race and ethnicities. 'Types' of immigrants and modalities for settlement are diversifying. There are unaccompanied minor refugees arriving daily who dream of returning home to rebuild their war torn homelands. Heads of corporate families based internationally are locating their children in Vancouver and Toronto to expand business interest. Established owning class immigrants participate in civic engagement with or without relations with established ethnic community networks. Non-dpcumented visitors live and work underground in our communities providing essential services. Skilled professionals with multiple citizenships and countless other 'types' are entering our 'borders'. Increasingly, rapidly shifting political, social and economic terrain that emphasize multiplicity, uncertainty, ambivalence and change demand that we reimagine a past, present and future that is reflexive, shared and reflective. 90 CHAPTER SEVEN: REFLECTIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS FOR ADULT EDUCATION From 1993 to 19991 worked at a Women's Drop In Centre in the Downtown East Side of Vancouver. This is often considered the most marginalized and complex urban centre in Canada because of issues of poverty, addictions, violence and urbanization. Within this spacial and geographic boundary resides the largest urban Native population and the largest Chinatown in Canada. I often heard racialized comments from the Centre members, many of whom were poor residents and themselves racialized. Their comments were based on the perception that Chinese immigrants were wealthy, educated, business minded, insular and conservative. On the occasion that I would challenge these comments the women would always try to reassure me that they did not mean me, because I was not like those other people but more like a Canadian. Once after repeatedly scapegoating of the Chinese community and Chinatown area businesses, I and 12 centre members decided to embark on a 'tour' of some of the workplaces in the neighbourhood. We walked through the alleys of Chinatown and looked into the doors of sweatshops, meat processing places and light manufacturing establishments that were really one big room packed with workers and machinery. Most of the people working in those spaces were Asian women who worked 8-10 hours on less than minimum wage. The women were shocked that these conditions existed in Canada and there was such a thing as working poor and poor immigrants. In another incident, of which there were many because of the crisis orientated environment, I was personally •\ 91 attacked for my ethnicity, before I could respond, some Aboriginal women in the Centre came to my 'rescue'. "Hey, you can't be saying shit like that here. " "You gotta be cool, chill out. " . "She didn't do anything to you, what's up? " "This is OUR Center and any woman can come in here, it doesn't matter if they are red, white, yellow, black or blue. " "We come here to get away from talk like that, come on, what's going on, why ' you so mad? " I It turned out she had just been harassed on the street by two 'rent-a-cop' security guard in Chinatown for sitting in the doorway of a business. She had also been denied an emergency grant from her financial aid worker to move from a hotel • room that was not safe and hygienic. The Centre members and I managed to get her some food and clothes while we tried to figure out some temporary housing solutions. It was a confrontational situation that was transformed to a collaborative problem solving effort. I Disruptions and Plans for the Future Strategies are needed to disrupt racialization and acquire flexible and relevant modalities that react to rapid changing and emerging contexts. Adult education practices may play a role in perpetuatirigand denying racialization to maintain hegemony. Various adult education contexts are also sites of intervention and are spaces to recreate new modalities of understanding our nation and our place in our nation. In this climate of hype connectivity and mass media we know more about what J.Lo had for breakfast than the 92 circumstances of people we see on our streets. There needs to be more attention paid to the day to day relations between Canadians. This thesis has been a preliminary discussion on the exploration of social relations among, between and within marginalized groups that require future research. Discourse analysis of government programs would be useful to identify thematic developments, to determine the existence of meta-narratives and their implication to social relation. During my work on this thesis I keep coming back to the notion of racial triangulations, there is a sense that Asian identities are placed within a field of power, occupying a space between whiteness and other marginalized identities. This location has a specific context and has implications to social relations that requires further interrogation. Some of the questions that require investigation are; • What are the links between the individual attitudes towards ethnicity and the source of knowledge/information on ethnicity? How do these attitudes affect social relations and civic engagement? How does pluralistic, intercultural social relations impact on the lives of people? How do people negotiate and make sense of social relations within a pluralistic context? How are Immigration, multicultural and citizenship education policies operationalized within the education system? Reflexive Multiculturalism As adult educators we have played a role in maintaining hegemonic values around the place and location of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and class (Sheared & Sissel, 2001). In this chapter I explore strategies in the practice of Adult Education, to interrogate practice, and to contemplate a place for identity development in the field. The sheer force of identity and identity politics provides a powerful strategy for adult learning in general but particularly 93 in situations serving immigrants and newcomers. There are conditions that place individuals and groups together. A better understanding of the various influences of our characters and circumstances could result in questioning assumed 'truths'. Social, political, environmental, gender or sexual constructs are structural imperatives that create conditions under which individuals and groups have agency to challenge monoculturalism or conditional multiculturalism. The notion of Reflexive Multiculturalism proposed by Ali Rattansi (1999) brings together not just a critical approach to decentering and deconstructing dominant • i positionalities but also places considerations for gender, sexuality and sexual difference within the discursive act of racialization. Rattansi advocates resistance to binary divisions and the creation of multiple 'ethnicities' and 'hydrid' identities. What this means in my practice is to make visible the structures and systems of racialization and marginalization and for learners to reflect on these structures and to identify their personal agency within the mechanisms of racialization and marginalization. There is an assumption that as adults our identities have been formed and are somewhat prescribed. On the contrary, our identities are constantly shifting and fluid. Particularly for newcomers and immigrants there is an ongoing negotiation of our positions and locations within social and political domains. The continual evaluation and reevaluation of self, placement and displacement provides a transformative space to address racism and other types of social justice issues. I have worked as a volunteer coordinator in several non-profit organizations. It is the responsibility of this position to recruit, train, place and evaluate volunteers for the organizations. Interpersonal conflict resolution (con-res) workshops are an integral part of all orientations. Most of the models are ' based on a problem solving foundation. The assumption is that there is a problem 94 and we need to solve it.; Not long ago I had the privilege to lead a series of training sessions with a group of 20 youth (men and women ages 17 - 22) and parents (women ages 37 - 45). All the participants were multilingual, they spoke English and one other language. We had already spent a number of hours together as a group when we started on the 'con-res' curriculum on a beautiful Saturday morning. Respectful behaviour, blah, blah, blah, clarify perceptions, blah, blah, blah, talk about how it made you feel, blah, blah, blah, be an active listener, blah, blah, blah. i We were in a beautiful penthouse meeting room 13 stories above the Downtown Eastside. During the break most of the group went outside to have r refreshments and socialize. I took the opportunity to check in with some of the 'mums' who were drinking their tea in the roof top garden. They seemed to really enjoy the presentation and were authentically engaged with the material. One woman commented that it helped her understand her relationship with her children and co-workers. Another said 'You Canadians always want to talk about your feelings, that is very difficult for us. Ding, ding, ding, alarm bells sounded in my head, 'You Canadians'. Ding, Ding Ding. Right, clarify my perception. After some discussion, the group managed to explain to me how the model that we were using viewed and named conflict in an external and confrontational manner. From their perspective, the mums, felt that conflicts, 'misunderstandings' or incompatibilities did not always have to be confronted. In fact to confront the issue was to 'cause trouble'. I now hope that I will do the women justice. Their strategies have often been focused on coming to terms with the' 'misunderstandings' within themselves, and where possible how to change the situation for themselves. More often than not this would be an internal process of acceptance. Or in extreme cases they would remove themselves from the situation. Needless to say the remainder of the workshop was spent in discussions about how different people perceive and deal with conflicts. In the end we learnt much more about ourselves and how we view the world, which will no doubt assist in our conflict resolution skills in the future. I learned several key lessons from this experience first, there are multiple ways of looking and interpreting key concepts like 'conflicts'. Secondly, the formal workshop curriculum represented a dominant worldview of such ideas as conflict. As the instructor and facilitator, I was engaged in a process of transmitting dominant Canadian social norms. And finally, certain foci such as conflict resolution models, ways of interpreting relations, and solutions may be perceived by participants as national or Canadian characteristics. In this case, the leadership team was 'seen as Canadian and viewed as advocating Canadian ways of being. The participant mums clearly distinguished some of us to be more Canadian than others and this translated to a specific reading of the 'con-res' model we were presenting. As an educator I learnt something very valuable. Since this incident I often question what kinds of social, cultural and identity-based relationships will be developed between myself and my students, have me and between my students and the material. My Classroom, My World View Although generalizations may be important aspects of learning about diverse cultures • -j there are consequences when we use generalizations. There may be negative and positive values attached to the way in which educators articulate cultural particularities. 96 Generalizations create a lens through which we view, perceive, retell the world and position individuals in social relations. There are many other ways in which educators perpetuate racial and ethnic stereotyping through generalizations. For example, in intercultural studies, racialization often appears in the theory and practice. This is illustrated by excerpts from various Intercultural training manuals and books; The average Mexican manager has a family idea of the organization. He or she experiences the organization as a paternalistic and hierarchal, and, as in many Latin cultures, father decides how it should be done. The Mexican sees the American manager as overly democratic: what nonsense that everybody consults everybody else. The American manager thinks in a way more consistent with the ' Protestant ethic than the! Mexican who thinks and acts in a more catholic way. . Most American managers distrust authority, while Mexican managers tend to r respect it (Trompenaars, 1993, p.9). Things you should know to survive the daily German work environment: • Germans have a habit of constantly shaking your hand. • They are formal in their speech, preferring to call co-workers by their surnames. It can take years for German co-workers to refer to each other by their first names, if ever. • ' They use the formal you when talking with co-workers. * German's formal speech sometimes leads others to perceive them as standoffish. 9 7 • Birthdays are celebrated at the office with sparkling wine, not cake. (Hicks & Beadles, 2001, p.74) In these two cases, American, Mexican and German are seen as monolithic and homogenous, the objective to provide effective and to the point information for business people creates a perception based on multiple assumptions, such as; . Nationalities, corporate culture, ethnicity and culture are all generalized and grouped together, • These nationalities lack ethnic diversity and, t That Christian religious characteristics are familiar to the readers; Often we do not think how these lenses will affect the relationships between marginalized groups. In one situation my colleague asked me to help him problem solve a - i situation that he encountered. He was designing an anti-racism workshop for a group of employees in a unionized work site. The need for this workshop emerged from issues of racial conflicts in the workplace. The housekeeping staff at the work site was primarily of one ethnicity while the kitchen staff was from a different ethnicity. Both groups were from racialized communities and occupied entry level positions in the union. It is not possible f -i within the scope of this thesis to do justice to the systemic ways in which jobs are racialized and engendered, but it is important to note, for most part, lower paying service-oriented work is racialized and feminized. For example, in my last plane trip to Eastern Canada at the ; i airports, I noticed that most of the staff, whether they were ticket agents, security personnel, customs officer or fast food counter personnel, they were primarily women of colour. I have a friend who works for Custom Canada and I asked him about the racial and cultural diversity of the management and he could not speak for the WHOLE department but in his •i ' . 98 area all his managers and supervisors were white. As a Chinese man, he was being recruited to enter into management training. The racialized, classed, and gendered aspects of these kinds of work contexts need further examination. In the proposed workshop my colleague wanted some opportunities for small group work. Often the most expedient strategy is to separate the group spatially by dividing the room in half or quarters or by^ numbering or lettering. In this instance he suggested that the group be divided by language. Ding, ding, ding. Of course it may make sense that group members should be able to communicate easily with each other. On the other hand it may also suggest another level of racialization. A strategy was developed for the group to self select for the discussion groups based on criteria that were defined after doing a group needs assessment. These criteria were based on values and beliefs rather than on cultural or racial appearances. There were four statements and people were asked to join the group based on which statement they most agreed with. The statements were; 'If someone said something racist. 1) I would tell the person immediately what happened and let them know why I am upset. 2) I would talk to someone else about the situation. "' 3) I would not talk to anyone and try to accept the situation and avoid this person in the future. 4) I would talk to someone else and ask them to help so that the other person does not feel bad. There are central assumptions) in this exercise; that racist comments demand some response. This strategy was used to get people talking about how they deal with conflict, what are the possible consequences of these strategies, and to explore alternative ways of communicating. 99 This was just one part of the workshop that dealt with racism and how racial stereotypes are communicated. Another interesting observation is that the workshop facilitator was a white university educated man providing the workshop. His role as mediator and facilitator between these individuals needs further examination. As a middle class middle-aged university educated heterosexual male, the facilitator may symbolize a particular dominant hegemony. His role is to provide tools and strategies for groups of people to interact within certain contexts, several questions emerge; • As a 'representative' from the dominant society how does he bring the authority of a 'Canadian' and 'Canadian' values? What are these 'Canadian' values that are being presented? Participants of the workshop rnay not readily identify with him. How will they locate the discussions and issues around racialized conflict resolution? Will the workshop impact their personal transformation? If so, how? The white facilitator becomes the expert on racism and is in the position to intrepret social relations between and among marginalized groups. How will this affected the participants experience of each other? • How will they relate to each other after the workshop? A triangulated relationship may develop between different marginalized groups that experience and perceive each'other through the authority of the facilitator. How are social relations affected by the triangulated relationship? How does transformative learning take shape within this relationship? There are many other adult education involve social relations between and among marginalized communities anil between these communities and the dominant Canadian society. For example, one significant site of learning is workplace orientation and training of 100 , employees where individuals are acculturated into the company's culture. Recently, the National Post has been running a series of television advertisements featuring CEOs and Presidents of major Canadian companies. All the ads I have seen have featured individuals from non-racialized communities, people like Jimmy Patterson, Marc LeBlanc, Rick Hansen and Margaret Southern. In the ads they are in an outdoor location, Quebec City, Vancouver or Spruce Meadows where it is sunny and warm. They are dressed casually and they look directly in the camera, with enthusiasm and pride they share with the audience about how great it is to do business in Canada, the excellent reputation Canada and Canadians have in the global stage and the self-satisfaction they have as Canadians. The byline is 'Our Country, Our Post'. Within this televised 30 second segment emerge a number of complex relationships between business, media, race and nationality. Adult Educators As adult educators the challenge is not to shy away from creating a counter discourse in relation to the hegemonic ideas about citizenship and nationhood but to be mindful of the discourse and allow for fluidity and hybridity to be interwoven into the discourse. The participants/learners that will be in our 'classes' have particular contexts and interconnectedness between and among themselves. These contexts contain group associations and ascriptions that are not easily categorized and are highly complex. Gender, race, ethnicity, class and sexualities are not monolithic categories, but contain infinite combinations of lived realities. The interconnectedness between and among marginalized groups that emerge from the interface can never be fully anticipated or analyzed fully but educators need to be aware of their role in contributing to the intercultural praxis. I am interested in presenting an apppach to adult education that is grounded in a specific identity based perspective that I would like to share with the participants in my classes. It is 101 unavoidable and sometimes necessary that I will also play some role in imposing certain world views, values, assumptions and ideals. As I end this thesis I find it necessary to remind myself to use my experience and realities as well as those of my perspective learners as a guide to my practice. Currently issues related to immigration, nation identity and multiculturalism are present most evidently in citizenship education, formal schooling, settlement services, and programs such as ESL and employment readiness. However, values and impressions of what constitutes 'Canadianness' are also reinforced in places which we may not readily associate with immigration and national identity, such as employment upgrading, work place training, mainstream communication and media. The challenge is to reflect on ways in which our teaching practices reaffirm particular hegemonies. It is inevitable that as educators we will be presenting a particular discourse. Our goal should be to promote pathways to critical thinking which support equality in social relations between individuals, groups, and the state. Conclusion / was eavesdropping on a one-sided cell phone conversation while commuting in Vancouver. \ 'Mian Mian?' 'Hello, Mian Mian?' 'Err, Hello .... Nee How'Mah? Mian Mian?' i Mian Mian, Nee How Mah? Mian Mian?' 'Hey, like you gonna have to teach me Chinese.' 'Was that like your grandmother, like I'm trying to get her to like...' 'Don't treat me like a FOB, I'm like Nee How Mah, Nee How Mah' ! 102 'That's pimp to be able to speak different languages.' Tt's Mandarin? What's the diff like 'Cantonese and Mandarin is like Chinese right?' 'Yeah, like Punjabi and Hindi are like the same language right, but like different dialects.' 'Yeah. That pimp.' 'Yeah like when people ask me like how come I don't speak Indian.' 'Like, get some knowledge, like I speak Hindi... ' 'Yeah, but like, why should they care like am I suppose to speak Hindi to them?' 'Yeah like I'm suppose to speak it all the time.' 'Works good, next week will be like crazy.' 'You know Todd Bertuzzi, he's like coming into the clinic some day.' 'We have to like shut down like the whole office. That's gay.' 'Like everyone had to be rescheduled, like I had to call all these people, right.' 'I mean like he's like everyone else right, like I don't think that's right.' 'Like everyone should be treated the same, right. That's gay.' 'I'm like at Broadway and Main, the bus is like half a block away.' 'Like, I'll meet you at the corner of Main and 16th, yeah, like at the Sev.' 'See if you can like go home later tonight, yeah, like...' What struck me initially was the language, phrases, like, FOB, That pimp and That's gay, which was disturbing. These young people were communicating with negative terms like FOB meaning Fresh Off the Boat. This derogatory expression for new immigrants seems to have survived a historical milieu where people did migrate by boat. Also, phrases like 'That's gay' in recent years have 103 gained popularity among the young to refer to negative incidents, fashion, comments, behavior, etceteras. I have heard children as young as six and seven using this expression. Yet, being pimp is a good thing. The image of a male sexually exploiting young women and living off the avails ofprostitution is somehow admirable. These are difficult concepts for me to accept because of my age, generation and socialization as a feminist. After I settled down a little I thought of the interesting ways in which people communicate. I assumed that the person on the other end of the conversation, Mian Mian was also young. How these young people interact with each other socially reflected their reading of race and equality. It seems that Mian Mian and Parm (I name her Parm because I know an Indian woman and her name is Parm) have a particular appreciation for multiculturalism that is a part of their everyday lives. Issues like . multilingualism, ignorance of linguistic particularities, expectations on racialized individuals, equality, blah, blah, blah. They belong to a whole different generation of connectivity, sophistication and hybridity that I did not experience. From my vantage point, Parm was comfortable and proud of her ethnicity. She seem to understood the value of equality but would she be interested or care why I was shocked by use of the terms 'gay' and 'pimp'? I hope so. i •i As a child and an adult I have encountered distinct struggles contextualized within historical trajectories that have provided a platform for learning. Throughout my life, identity and belonging have been tremendous influences initially as locations for displacement, disorientation and exclusion but later for emancipation, empowerment and liberation at a personal and political level. Identity formation is a powerful place to resist 104 imaginings of white settler society and is a location for adult learning. This thesis provided space for me to critically examine and articulate my practice. The pursuit of academic rigour has provided yet other challenges in identity through which I have gained better understanding to my own assumptions and 'hegemonies'. The privilege of searching out and reading different thinkers and; doers has been inspiring as well as helpful. My wish is that this process not only affects how I will share learning in the future but that the awareness and consciousness derived through this experience will give me comfort and acceptance in my personal life. In daily being there are not many occasions to reflect on one's personal contexts. This thesis has given me that chance and also an occasion to examine my own social relations with others in'my social and political sphere. I hope that this thesis provides . a perspective to contextualize diverse positions, challenge existing hegemonies, consider opportunities for further inquiry and approach adult education from a radically different perspective. 1 i r 105 B I B L I O G R A P H Y 'Asiatic' Unsuited for Veterans' Post. (2002, January 16). Saskatoon Star Phoenix, p. A l Amin, Samir. (2001). Imperialism and Globalization. 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